There are no grants for starting a business. Starting a business will require investing personal funds, sweat equity and possibly funding from friends, family, or a bank. Financial bootstrapping is one way of minimizing the need for startup dollars and finding a variety of ways to access funding. Many successful companies were started via bootstraping. Grants rarely provide 100% of funds needed and will require additional personal or other investment. A business plan will still be required for a grant application. Many grants will have reporting requirements.
State of Wisconsin
The State of Wisconsin offers small grants for very specific business entities and entrepreneurial activities available through the following departments: • Department of Agriculture • Department of Tourism • Focus on Energy
There are eleven departments of the US government that set aside research and development grant dollars allocated through the SBIR/STTR programs. These departments are: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and National Science Foundation.
Local governments may provide small targeted grants that will vary by municipality. The criteria for local grants can be very restrictive due to limited funds. Check with your local Economic Development organization for more information.