The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Funding & Nonprofits

Grants for Businesses

Contrary to information we receive from late night television and disreputable sales and seminars, there is no free money to start a for profit business. Most grants are for nonprofit organizations, not small businesses. In MOSourceLink’s The Truth About Free Government Grants article, they remind us to “BE VERY CAREFUL of advertisements promoting “free money for your business.” Often times this is a list of microloan programs which must be repaid. If you are in need of locating start up financing for your business please review the Business Librarian's research guide on Funding Your Business.

Is your business minority-owned, woman-owned, or a vet-owned business? If so, there may be specific funding options for you. The Multicultural Business Association (formerly Minorities in Business), International Institute of Southwest Missouri, the SBA (Small Business Administration), or Vet Biz will be able to help you.

Microloans are a non-traditional loan option for small businesses who cannot access bank loans. Microloans are typically much smaller than bank loans and are generally made to small business owners with fewer than 5-10 employees. Nonprofit microfinance organizations like Accion, Kiva, Grameen America, and Women’s World Banking work worldwide to provide opportunity to small entrepreneurs who cannot access bank loans. 

Check out these Missouri state and local resources to apply for a microloan: 

New businesses can also contract with the federal government. There are numerous opportunities available through SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research). Minority-owned or woman-owned businesses should get certified as a disadvantaged business to contract with the federal government. The Multicultural Business Association has a video that reviews the certification process. The SBA can also help businesses get certified and procure contracts.

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