Where can I get a grant to start my business?
I have a great idea for a retail shoe store. I don't have the funds to start it up. I heard about grant money for starting a business, but every site I've gone to wants some startup fee and then they help write the grants. I need advice on which companies are credible and how I should approach this.
My honest opinion is that you have very little chance of getting a grant to start a shoe store no matter how good the idea. Grants are offered by governments and foundations and they have social purpose. You probably heard about grant money from companies who make a business of getting people to pay them for information about grants.
Think about finding partners, investors, people who share your interest and have resources, and are also people you can trust. That's a hard one I know, but more likely than finding somebody who will just give you money.
Call your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), chamber of commerce, or community college, and ask them for help, classes, or recommendations.
Tim Berry is the chairman of Eugene, Ore.-Palo Alto Software
, which produces business-planning software,