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Where to Get Free Money to Start a Small Business

Jacob Scott

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Money moves a small business growth engine. But finding a business loan is not easy when you have just a business idea. In such a situation, you often think – how do I get free money to start a business?

The good news is you can get free money to start a small business. Many organizations, government and private, offer business grants to help people realize their dream of running a business.

Whether you’re thinking about starting a new business or you’re already running one, these business grants can help you get going in the time of a cash crunch.

Let’s dive in:

How do I get Free Money to Start a Business?

Small business financing is tough. So, there is no surprise that 39% of small businesses use cash to finance their ventures.

When you’ve just started, securing a loan for your business is an uphill battle, even if you are looking at franchises under 10K. Even if you get a loan, it is often difficult to pay it back initially when your business is not making a decent profit.

Therefore, it is a better idea to look for small business grant money than apply for business loans.

Government grants, general small business grants, industry-specific grants, and diversity small business grants are some popular ways to get free grant money for small business.

Best Places to Get Free Money to Start a Small Business

Here are the best places to get free money:

Small Business Administration Grants (SBA)

SBA is a federal agency created to support small business owners and entrepreneurs in the country.

SBA offers limited federal small business grants that most often come in the form of technical assistance, but their real value exceeds thousands of dollars:

Here are key SBA grants to support small businesses:

1. 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program

If you want to get ready to win federal, state, and local government contracts, 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program can help you do that. Eligible businesses receive training and one-on-one consulting in a wide range of business activities, including marketing accounting, contract management, etc.

2. SBA Mentor-Protégé Program

Under this program, a small business owner gets opportunities to learn key business growth functions from an experienced government contractor.

3. Restaurant Revitalization Fund

This is one of the popular coronavirus small business grants. Eligible restaurants, bars, or other qualifying businesses that have been affected by Covid-19 can apply for Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

4. Small Business Innovation Research Programs (SBIR)

Powered by SBA, the SBIR program is good for small businesses that do independent research and development.

5. Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (STTR)

STTR program is also for small businesses that want to do research and development. But, in this program, small businesses have to form partnerships with non-profit research institutions.

Both SBIR and STTR programs have three phases. Learn here more about it.

General Small Business Grant Programs

Business owners should not be disheartened if they cannot qualify for federal grants. These days, many non-profits and private companies offer ways for how to get start-up funding for a small business.

Explore the following popular options:

1. Business Development Grant from the NASE

The national association for the self-employed (NASE) offers a business development grant worth up to $4,000. To apply for NASE Growth Grants Program, you must be a member of NASE.

2. Nav’s Grant for Small Businesses

The grand prize winner of Nav’s Small Business Grant receives $10,000, and the runner-up gets $5000.

3. IdeaCafe Grant Program

For someone who wants to own a business, IdeaCafe Small Business Grant Program is a good option as it is free, quick, and easy to apply. The prize is worth $1000

Industry-Specific Grants

If yours is a specialty business, you can apply for industry-specific grants. Many business grants are reserved for industry-specific businesses.

Let’s look at the following industry-specific grants that can give you essential free money to get started:

1. The Halstead Grant

For a silver jewelry artist, the Halstead Grant is ideal to get you seed money. The grand prize is $7,500 plus other benefits.

2. Power Forward Grant

Black-owned small businesses having 1-25 employees and operating across the New England area can apply for Power Forward Small Business Grant, which awards transformative grants of $25,000 on a rolling basis.

3. Sephora Accelerate

This grant is aimed at incubating founders in the beauty sector. Under Sephora Accelerate, beauty founders will go on a six-month journey inclusive of skills and know-how to build a successful business.

4. Grow by Invoice2go

Minority-owned businesses can apply for Grow by Invoice2go, which offers up to $15,000 to grow a business.

5. eBay Up & Running Grants

The US eBay sellers are eligible to apply for eBay Up & Running Grants, which provide $10,000 grant packages to each qualified seller.

State Grants

Check the following state grants:

1. State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

Though administered by SBA, the STEP program works through states and territories. Under this program, qualified businesses will get the financial assistance that will help them enter and expand into international markets.

2. Small Business Development Centers

You can also explore a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in your local area, which can help you improve business planning, strategies, and operations. Though SBDCs don’t offer any money, they can prepare businesses to qualify for various grants. You can visit the website of SBA to find an SBDC in your area.

To know more about small business state grants, you should check with your local governments.

Green Business Grants

As the name suggests, green business grants are awarded to green businesses. In many cases, this is a sector in which you can learn how to start a business with no money from others in the field. However, it is a labor of love as the people who do it want to change the world.

If you’re running a green business and looking for some money to scale up, you can explore the following options:

1. Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

The REAP program is for agricultural producers and rural small businesses who are working for:

Renewable energy systems Making energy efficiency improvement

2. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Funding Programs

EERE funding programs are directed towards advancing clean energy technologies. You can check here EERE funding opportunities.

3. Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge offers grants as 15 different awards, focusing on acknowledging unique ideas that take the help of technology for social impact from early-stage entrepreneurs around the world.

Non-Profit Grants

If you’re running a non-profit company, you have plenty of options to receive grant funding. Many private businesses and companies provide grants that can help you move forward.

Here are a few popular options for non-profit grants:

1. Patagonia’s Corporate Grants Program

Patagonia’s Corporate Grants Program is a good option to explore for those working in the environmental field.

2. Global Grand Challenges

Grand challenges hosts a family of initiatives that promote innovation in order to solve global health and development problems.

3. Walmart’s Grant Programs

Organizations working toward creating opportunities, advancing sustainability, strengthening community, and center for racial equity can be the right fit to apply for Walmart’s grant programs.

4. Wells Fargo Grants

Wells Fargo supports low-income communities through grants to local nonprofits.

Startup Grants for Women-Owned Businesses

Many organizations are working for the economic development of women entrepreneurs.

The following are two popular startup grants for women:

1. Amber Grant

Amber Grant is hugely popular among women entrepreneurs. The Amber Grant Foundation gives at least $10,000 every month in Amber grant money.

2. The Cartier Women’s Initiative

The Cartier Women’s Initiative offers regional awards and Science & Technology Pioneer Award to women-run businesses.

Startup Grants for Veteran-Owned Businesses

Here are two popular startup grants for veteran-owned businesses:

1. The StreetShares Foundation

The Veteran Small Business Award from the StreetShares Foundation is a popular financial grant for veterans who lack financial support.

2. Veteran Assistance Programs

Every year, the federal government put aside a certain percentage of contracting dollars specifically to businesses owned by veterans under veteran assistance programs.

Competitive Small Business Grants

The following grants are super competitive as many people apply for them. It is no doubt that winning these grants is tough, but the grant money makes it worth competing.

1. FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

The grand prize winner of the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest gets $50,000, plus $7,500 in FedEx Office print services.

2. Visa Everywhere Initiative

Visa Everywhere Initiative offers business grants that can shine existing businesses more. The regional and global finals receive validation, exposure, and monetary benefits.

Final thoughts,

A grant is a good way to get money for your business. But the competition is fierce when it comes to winning a grant. So, it always helps prepare for a grant beforehand – know the application process well to avoid getting disqualified.

Whether you’re running a local business or national business, you can definitely find a grant, and winning it can offer you some sort of financial protection. So, look harder. For government help, GRANTS.GOV and CHALLENGE.GOV are the ultimate places to know about available opportunities for free money.

Image: Depositphotos

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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