Entrepreneurs have access to various government programs such as small-business assistance, assistance for minorities and women, and environmental grants. The Small Business Administration provides various counseling and training programs and resources for business owners seeking financial support. The administration’s website provides useful tips for starting a new business and writing business plans. Other government organizations such as the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation assist entrepreneurs through various startup and funding programs.
Small-business owners should review the Small Business Administration’s directory of services, which lists information and resources for starting a new business and the latest information on business law. The administration also assists small-business owners with finding startup funds through grants, loans and venture capital. The U.S. Department of Transportation assists small-business owners, including disabled veterans and individuals investing in historically underutilized business zones such as urban and rural centers around the country.
Minorities and women have access to a wide array of resources under the Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership program. The program includes a business directory, which links women business owners to national and local women’s associations that provide counseling, training and startup funding sources for women. Organizations that support minority groups, including women, such as the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, assist small-business owners in underprivileged regions around the Los Angeles district. Other minority assistance programs for business owners include Operation HOPE, which helps business owners working in underserved communities around the country.
In addition to the Small Business Administration’s information center for obtaining funding from venture capital investors, entrepreneurs should research resources, including vFinance.com and garage.com, for information on venture capital investors. Venture capital financing is ideal for young, high-growth companies and provides entrepreneurs long-term financial security. Venture capital financing is provided for different types of businesses and ranges widely in the amount. Entrepreneurs must provide a clear business plan highlighting their short-term and long-term goals.
Entrepreneurs can find business-specific funding opportunities from government agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Environmental Protection Agency offers five contract opportunities per year to finance various types of environmental projects. Business owners can schedule one-on-one meetings with a counselor to discuss their project proposals and bid for contracts. The Environmental Protection Agency offers environmental contracts to business owners in areas such as chemical safety and pollution prevention, solid waste and emergency response, air and radiation, and resources management.