How to secure a government grant for your small business or startup

Business owner plans for government grant

There are myriad of government grants available for small businesses and startups — state, federal and even local — all of them designed to assist you in different ways. Keeping on top of the grants that are available is one thing, knowing how to secure a government grant is another matter entirely.  

How to secure a government grant

While every grant has its unique selection criteria, there are consistent factors that all applicants should be cognisant of. According to Business Queensland, these are just some things to think about to ensure your application doesn’t fail:

  • Grant applications can take a long time. Make sure the grant is relevant to your business, industry, and the specific outcomes you’re wanting to achieve;
  • Ensure you are eligible — thoroughly read the selection criteria. If you’re not eligible, don’t waste your time by submitting an ineligible application. A lot of grants have checklists you can refer to, so make use of these;
  • Support your statements — hyperbole is the enemy of grant applications. Providing quality, well-organised support material will give you credibility and make the assessor’s’ job much easier;
  • Prove your need for support — why do you need a grant? What relevant or critical outcomes are likely to eventuate and how do they align with the assessment criteria?
  • Research other recipients — while you don’t want to copy others, it’s good to learn from others and know what makes them stand apart;
  • Meet deadlines. With so much competition for grants, it’s not worth risking a deadline extension request. It can be handy to prepare a grant application calendar as part of your annual strategy planning; 
  • Treat the application as a top priority. If you’re delegating the task to someone else, make sure all relevant stakeholders have looked it over. Take the time to be clear and concise and proofread all components; and
  • Finally, you might want to consider taking on the services of a grant-writing consultant.

This post was originally published on July 16, 2017. 

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