Entrepreneurship is the word of the day and more and more people are looking into setting up their own business. However, setting up your own business is no small task. The first and foremost obstacle is funding. Gathering up enough money to take the plunge is a big risk. Banks often decline loans if they feel the startup may not succeed. And paying that much out of your pocket is sometimes just not feasible.
In such scenarios, people often turn to grants and government funding as an avenue of recourse. However, contrary to what Television programs and infomercials show you, setting up a new business is a lot more work than you imagined.
No money is ‘free money’
Most of us, when looking for grants, have the notion of getting ‘free money’, i.e, an investment without commitment. However, much like loans, most grants have some kind of conditions attached. For example, in many cases, to get a grant, the applicant themselves have to put up a financial deposit in order to prove their commitment to the project. Another criterion may be a guarantee of more jobs for the community.
The situation, as you can see, is daunting. Small Business Grants Ontario thus provides you with some crucial tips that can make your dream a bit easier to realize.
1. Know your terminology
The term “small business grants” appears rarely on Government websites. This is mostly because pure grants for small business are unusual. However, you can search for terms like “small business financing”, or possible awards, contributions, subsidies, rebates etc to get some help in setting up your business. Strictly speaking, these aren’t grants, but considering you won’t have to pay them back, it works well enough.
2. Know your industry
Some industries have an easier time getting grants. For example, agriculture and food are a priority industry when giving out grants, as are technology, science and R&D. Grants for retail businesses however are notoriously difficult to obtain. Know which industry your business would likely fall in so that you do not waste time applying in the wrong sectors.
3. Using hub sites to search.
Hub sites provided by the Government provide a full list of possible grants available for dispensing, including small grants. Search in these sites to help look for opportunities that may be best for you.
4. Take advantage of the programs that do exist.
Programs like the SR&ED Tax Credit can get you tax benefits which can be termed as ‘free money’. There is no hassle of making a proposal, submitting it, waiting for a review and finally acceptance. You can create your project and simply apply for tax returns. Be sure to follow the rules though.
5. Crowdfund Your Idea
Since we live in an age with modern amenities and technological innovations, one would be remiss in not using these opportunities. Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo deliver the perfect platform for startups to collecting vesting capital. Crowdfunding has recently gained a surge in popularity. However, with the rise in attention, it also means more competition for businesses looking to get funds. Unless you make your business interesting to the general public, it will join the long line of projects that go unfunded.
Starting your own business is a monumental task. But with the right proposals, you can make your life a little bit easier. Getting grants may not be easy, but it is not impossible either. And now, you are better equipped to make the right choices in securing your future.