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August 15, 2018

Beyond Basics

Fund Your Dream

Self-Financing • Loans • Targeted Funding • Opportunities • Venture Capital • Grants

| 4/21/2017

Think Outside the Box

Almost no federal grant money is available to launch for-profit small businesses. However, some businesses engaged in scientific research and development (R&D) may qualify for federal grants under the Small Business Innovation Research and the Small Business Technology Transfer programs if their projects meet federal R&D objectives and have high potential for commercialization. To learn more, visit SBA has authority to make grants to non-profit and educational organizations in many of its counseling and training programs, but does not make grants to small businesses. Announcements of the counseling and training grants appear on

Some business grants may be available through state and local programs, nonprofit organizations or other groups. These grants do not necessarily represent “free” money; many require the recipient to match funds or combine the grant with other forms of financing such as a commercial loan. For information about grants available in Florida, visit

Crowdfunding is a way for private companies to solicit investors on the web and opens the door for anyone to become shareholders. As a result, the privilege of investing in startups, which was once available only to accredited investors, is now open to all.

SEC rules lay out the specifics of crowdfunding, including the paperwork required and limits on how much money an issuer can raise. By all means, investigate this potential funding source, but look to specialists at your local Florida SBDC office and elsewhere for guidance before committing to it.

Beware of Grant Scams

ALL government grants involve an application process, but never an application fee. And no legitimate federal agency will ever call to request a processing fee for a grant you’ve already been awarded or to pay for a list of grant-making institutions. The only official access point for all federal grant-making agencies is Anything else is a scam.


Enterprise Florida: Financial Support

Enterprise Florida Inc. (EFI) partners with lenders and other outside organizations to help small businesses access capital through the following programs:

State Small Business Credit Initiative Through the SSBCI Program, small businesses may obtain loan approvals and leverage private capital to cover startup costs; franchise fees; expenses related to working capital needs, business procurement, equipment and inventory; and the purchase or refinance of owner-occupied real estate. SSBCI provides lenders with necessary security in the form of a partial guarantee up to 50% on a term loan or line of credit.

Venture Capital The Florida Opportunity Fund provides venture capital for startup and early-stage businesses in two forms: a state-run venture capital fund, which may include other, private investors, that invests directly in businesses; and a fund of funds that invests in other venture capital funds that, in turn, invest in individual businesses. The state’s decision on which form to use depends on many factors, including resources and available talent.

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