Funding expert, Kedma Ough reveals how to find grants and resources for your specific business dreams, regardless of your credit history.
If I could take you through a time machine back eighteen years ago, you would have seen a well-educated business woman sobbing on the curb next to the bankruptcy court in Tucson, Arizona after having filed chapter seven.
Most people including entrepreneurs that find themselves in a very difficult financial scenario don’t set out to create that situation. Often it results from a loss of a job, a health crisis or in my case a divorce.
The blessing of hard lessons is the opportunity for you to see the situation in a different light. Over the last eighteen years, I have worked with thousands of entrepreneurs teaching them how to find grants and resources for their specific business dreams because I believe each of us have a right to the American Dream of business ownership regardless of our credit history.
Often clients will attempt to find grants using the Internet as part of their funding strategy. The challenge with that strategy is that unless you understand the variables it will be very difficult to find grants that are specific to you and your business. A recent search on Google for grants yielded more than sixty million possibilities.
The key to finding more grants is to understand the terminologies that may be associated with various grants that are available for businesses. An example of a unique grant is the term called forgivable loan. This is in actuality a loan that can be forgiven if the specific terms of the loan are met. The terms often relate to increasing job opportunities by hiring new employees for a period of time and in exchange for meeting the required metrics the loan is forgiven.
Many years ago when my children were young I realized that paying for full-time childcare would cost my family several thousands of dollars per month. Therefore I decided to open up a daycare business and enroll my children alongside other kids in the community. Targeting specific funds, I received a $25,000 forgivable loan that required I hire five day-care attendees for a minimum of six months. The reality is I had to hire five day-care attendees anyway as part of the child-attendee state ratio. Once I met the six-month mark, I submitted proof of the five employees and received a $25,000 check that I did not have to pay back. Most of us would consider that a grant but it was written as a forgivable loan.
In my book Target Funding I focus on teaching the necessary variables to accessing potential grants and resources. You will be surprised to note that there are grants and resources tied to the stage of your business, the location of your business, the industry you classify under, as well as grants that target women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities. In fact, there are new grants and resources being offered each year and most people don’t even know how to build a target funding strategy until now.
Imagine that the funding opportunities was in the form of a pizza pie and that each slice of the pie can represent a different funding source that can provide you with funds that did not require a pay back. So instead of accessing $100,000 from one source, you would access $100,000 from ten possible sources. Of course, I believe at times that debt and equity financing is appropriate but not in all cases. Most of the time if we can find and secure grant funds that don’t have to be repaid back, it allows us to leverage our money more strategically if a loan has to be considered.
To read more from Kedma Ough check out her new book Target Funding: A Proven System to Get the Money and Resources You Need to Start or Grow Your Business.