Grants to get your business idea off the ground are in abundance, but the search for free money can get overwhelming at times. Nevertheless here is a compilation of grants and opportunities for young entrepreneurs, small businesses, creative artists, content producers, restaurateurs and green building innovators.
Young Entrepreneur Grants
If you are a student between the ages of 13-18, you can become an entrepreneur and make new friends by applying science, technology and innovation to solve problems with global impact. With the Challenge’s step-by-step guidance and the support of industry experts, you’ll expand your collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication skills. The result? Enter college and the 21st century workforce with the skills necessary to thrive.
The Diamond Challenge provides a unique opportunity for teens to learn about entrepreneurship while putting their ideas into action. The competition offers $100,000 in prizes and resources to take student ideas to the next level.
Jacobson Innovator Competition
Pitch an idea for a business or product and compete for cash prizes. To encourage the entrepreneurial mindset in youth, the Jacobson Institute sponsors the Innovator Competition each fall and spring. The competition is for ANY high school student in grades 9-12. Students don’t need a background or course work in business to compete. They just need motivation, passion and a good idea!
VentureLab Spark Startup Materials & Mentorship Program
We’re changing the game for students without access to startup funds! Know a kid ages 8-18 with a business idea and a need? Started in 2019, VentureLab Spark Startup provides a four-month mentorship program and up to $500 in materials to help them start or scale their business.
Whole Kids Foundation Young Entrepreneurs Pilot Grant
The Young Entrepreneurs Pilot Grants support youth-led business programs that are improving the way kids eat through gardening, plant-forward cooking or nutrition education. Our grants support kids to become entrepreneurs because the skills needed as a successful young business leader will benefit them for a lifetime.
The Thiel Fellowship gives $100,000 to young people who want to build new things instead of sitting in a classroom. Open to anyone aged 22 and younger.
Deadline: Year Around
The Go for Yours Fund is available for artists, entrepreneurs, and trailblazers (ages 13-21). Our ideal recipients have modeled a commitment toward reaching their goals and need funding to achieve a specific dream. Scholarship is $500.
Deadline: Year Around
Small Business Grants
After the grant submission and voting period has closed, NAV chooses 5 finalists from the 200 businesses with the most votes. If you are selected as a finalist, you will have a call with Nav’s team to share more about your business. This will give you one last chance to convince us to pick your business for either the $10,000 or $5,000 Small Business Grant.
Deadline: The end of each quarter
Three Grand Prize winners receive $50,000, FedEx Office® print services credit worth $4,000 and other business services. Seven First Place winners will receive $20,000, FedEx Office print services credit worth $1,500, and additional business services.
California Competes Grant Small Business Grant
The California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) and Grant Program (CCGP) are available to businesses that want to locate in California or stay and grow in California. Businesses of any industry, size, or location compete for over $180 million available in tax credits by applying in one of the three application periods each year. Applicants will be analyzed based on twelve different factors of evaluation, including number of full-time jobs being created, amount of investment, and strategic importance to the state or region.
The Halstead Grant is an annual award for emerging silver jewelry artists. Applicants submit answers to 15 business questions in addition to their design portfolios. The experience is designed to help jewelry entrepreneurs create a strategy to kick-start their careers. The grand prize is a $7,500 cash grant plus other benefits.
AJF Young Artist Award and the Susan Beech Mid-Career Artist Grant
We offer two generous awards and grants, made possible by our membership, to aid jewelry artists in their research and practice: The AJF Young Artist Award comes with an unrestricted cash prize of $7,500. The Susan Beech Mid-Career Artist Grant provides $20,000 toward the completion of a significant jewelry-related project.
Making It Together Grant For Female Artists
$50 from the sale of the Making It Together Necklace goes directly into a fund – with the goal to give as many $5,000 grants to American-made, female-owned businesses as possible. Together we will uplift our community, offering the women around us the funding they need to find success. By giving financial support, we provide them economic independence, and with this independence, the ability to raise their voices and be heard.
Deadline: Year Around
LegalZoom, the NBA, WNBA, and NBA G League have teamed up to help small business owners. Our combined mission is to support small businesses in underserved and underrepresented communities, while shining a light on the inequities and challenges those businesses face. Applications for the $10,000 grants and up to $500 in LegalZoom services are open twice a year.
Deadline: November and open again in Spring
California Dream Fund
The California Dream Fund Program will provide microgrants up to $10,000 to seed entrepreneurship and small business creation in California.
To participate in the program, entrepreneurs can apply for an intensive startup program developed by one of the participating TAEP centers. After successful completion of the program and all requirements, business owners will become eligible to apply for one grant of up to $10,000.
Contact: Inland Empire SBDC
WomensNet founded the “Amber Grant” in 1998. The grant was set up with one goal in mind: to honor the memory of a very special young woman, Amber Wigdahl, who died at just 19 years old — before realizing her business dreams.
Today, WomensNet carries on that tradition, proudly giving away at least $30,000 every month in Amber Grant money. In recognition of the diversity of businesses owned by women, we’ve also expanded our grant-giving to include “Marketing Grants,” “Business Category Grants,” as well as two “$25,000 Year End Grants.”
Amazon Black Business Accelerator Program
Access services and grants to help jump-start business growth and customer acquisition. Opportunities include: $500 credit to assist with start-up and operational costs for eligible newly-launched sellers, $400 in Sponsored Products advertising credits to increase exposure for your business and free imaging services for up to 50 products to help showcase your products.
Deadline: Year Around
Rural Small Business Relief grant program
Only small businesses located in rural communities are eligible at this time. Rural communities are defined as having a population of 50,000 or less. Grants will be made in amounts ranging from $2,500 to $20,000.
eBay is giving back to the small businesses powering America. In partnership with Hello Alice, eBay is awarding more than $500,000 in grants and education resources to help small businesses stay up and running into 2022 and beyond.
Food Industry Grants
In 2020 The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) launched a new grant program to help young and beginning farmers and ranchers start up and grow their businesses. The program provides 50 farmers and ranchers with $5,000 grants. Grant recipients also received a one-year membership to the National Young Farmers Coalition.
Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food
The Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food provides grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to help alleviate the transportation and related operation gaps that organizations face in distributing fresh food to markets in vulnerable and underserved populations. The grants support a range of activities related to transportation such as:
- Acquiring refrigerated vehicles for direct delivery to markets;
- Financing “veggie vans” to bring fresh food to isolated communities;
- Providing better access to food hubs or other sites where produce, dairy, seafood and meats can be stored safely for distribution; or
- Purchasing produce boxes and cold storage bins to keep unsold food fresh for the next day’s farmers market or wholesale purchase.
Grants range from $2,000 to $5,000 projects that help small farms and/or orchards operate more , both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach.
Deadline: Applications open January
Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is a small grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fellowship Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to third-party vendors for items the veteran has identified will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm business. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) provides grants up to $2,500 to qualifying farmers who need assistance in improving the welfare of their farm animals. FACT offers two types of grants: Pasture Improvement Grants and Certification Grants.
Art and Music Grants
Through fellowships to published translators, the National Endowment for the Arts supports projects for the translation of specific works of prose, poetry, or drama from other languages into English. Grants are up to $25,000. Award amounts are determined by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The American Theatre Wing Training Scholarships
The American Theatre Wing is committed to fostering a future generation of theatre makers that reflects the diversity and dynamism of America as a whole. Public Middle and High School students who come from populations historically underrepresented in our industry, demonstrate talent and ability in the theatre arts, but have a lack of economic resources to receive high level training prior to college. The student’s area of focus can be from any aspect of theatre from performance, to design, to writing, to stage management.
Arts and Accessibility enhances opportunities for participation in the arts by people with disabilities. Grants for individual artists with disabilities are intended to support the advancement of their creative work and careers. Artists may request support for specific projects that contribute directly to their professional goals and development. California-based arts organizations may request support for the hiring or involvement of artists with disabilities in arts events, and/or to increase the attendance and enhance the experience for audiences with disabilities.
Applications open: Spring
California Relief Fund for Artists and Cultural Practitioners
The California Relief Fund for Artists and Cultural Practitioners is for artists and cultural practitioners who need financial help as a result of this federally recognized qualified disaster. Grants will be distributed to reflect the cultural and geographic diversity of the state of California—including those who are of historically underserved communities who are especially vulnerable financially due to this economic crisis.
Applications open: April
In partnership with The National Endowment for the Arts, and with collaboration from Concord Theatricals, Disney Theatrical Productions, iHeartRadio Broadway, and NMPA S.O.N.G.S. Foundation; this national contest is for high school students with a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production and the wide range of musical styles represented in contemporary musicals. The goal of the program is to engage the musical theater field in nurturing the next generation of songwriters.
Jonathan Larson Grant
The Jonathan Larson Grant is an unconditional annual investment in individual talent. The grant is awarded to musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists, or writing teams, early in their career, to support artistic endeavors and safeguard long-term music writing careers.
Through the Verses Project, we are designing programs to encourage aspiring artists to pursue their dreams, continuing the supportive spirit that Jason “Vice Verses” Williams embodied. Grants are up to $1,000 per award.
The purpose of the Fund is to provide fellowships for gifted young musicians, generally performers and composers in classical disciplines, who wish to pursue advanced music study and performance abroad, usually in Europe. The Fund provides financial support for round trip transportation, living and other expenses. An all-inclusive grant of $22,000 will be offered. Fellowships are for one year and are generally not renewable.
Deadline: Year Round
Content Creator Grants
The National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships program offers $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement.
We started the MCG to help creatives get their start. You pitch your project ideas. We provide micro-grants, free gear, mentorship, and the Moment platform to share your work. Not only that, you join a network of alumni who become your new support community. $5,000 grant awards.
The Walter Dean Myers Grant program was established to provide grants of $2,000 each to individuals working toward a career as a children’s author and/or illustrator who are currently unpublished. Since 2015, they have awarded 26 grants.
Grant for the Web is a $100 million fund to boost open, fair and inclusive standards and innovation in Web Monetization. The program is part of the Interledger Foundation and is guided by the Grant for the Web Charter in collaboration with founding collaborators Coil, Mozilla and Creative Commons. The fund prioritizes innovation through openly networked payments enabled by the Interledger Protocol and the Web Monetization API.
Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Program
To improve the quality of the air in the High Desert by funding local, cost-effective projects to upgrade heavy-duty diesel equipment using proven technologies and procedures that reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and reactive organic gases (ROG) from diesel-powered engines. Since the MDAQMD began its participation in the program, the District has awarded more than $13 million to eligible projects!
Clean Transportation Program Rural Electric Vehicle (REV) Charging
The purpose of this solicitation is to:
- Demonstrate replicable and scalable business and technology models that can deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to serve rural EV drivers.
- Support travel by rural EV drivers, especially those from low-income or disadvantaged communities.
Southern California Level 2 Incentive Project
The Southern California Incentive Project (SCIP) promotes easy access to zero-emission vehicle infrastructure by offering rebates for the purchase and installation of eligible public electric vehicle (EV) chargers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties – with a total of $29 million in available funds.
Eligible rebates include up to $70,000 per DC fast charger (DCFC) for installations at new sites and sites with stub-outs and up to $40,000 per DC fast charger for installations at replacement and make-ready sites. Installations in designated disadvantaged communities (DACs) are eligible for rebates up to $80,000 per DC fast charger regardless of installation site type.
Deadline: Until funding runs out
California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative
The California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative (CalSEED) is a $24m grant program created to help early stage California clean energy startups bring their concepts and prototypes to market. Individuals, businesses and nonprofits are eligible to apply to the program
Deadline: Year Around