Sometimes, the beliefs you have held in your mind for decades end up conflicting with each other. Things you have always believed in seem to be contradicting each other. For example, you must know that there is nothing free in the world. At the same time, you might have a firm a belief that nothing is impossible. So, is it possible to obtain free money? The people who apply for grants for their business definitely think that it is possible. Yes, if you did not know already, you can apply for grants for your business and get some free money to start the venture you have long been waiting to start.
However, nothing in this world is as straightforward as it might seem on the surface. Even the business or any other types of grants have a lot of things associated with them. The process of obtaining the grants is often quite jumbled up. Secondly, eligibility for obtaining free money for something is not that easy to prove. Before getting into the pros and cons of obtaining grants, let’s take a look at what grants really are.
Grants are the monetary support that a person can receive from a government or even a private institution after meeting the eligibility criteria. The difference between a grant and a loan is that you don’t have to return the money you receive in the form of grants. On the other hand, loans have to be repaid. In most cases, it is the government that gives grants to its citizens. The grants can come from the federal, state or even the local government. Grants can be given to students, business owners, veterans, single mothers, disabled people, etc.
Advantages of Grants
The first thing you have to know before you apply for grants is that it is free money. As stated earlier, you don’t have to return the money that you receive in the form of a grant. The best thing is that even big organizations can receive grants. Established businesspersons of the countries would often go to organizations that are serving noble causes to give them grants. So, whether you are looking to start a business or get admission in a college, you can rest assured that the money you receive will not have to be returned. For that particular reason, you also have to go through a strict screening process i.e. you have to submit lots of documents to prove your eligibility.
Available for Many
In most of the cases, you might have heard students applying for and receiving grants from various organizations. Yes, students are some of the common receivers of the grants, but they are not the only ones. If you have a non-profit organization, you can also apply for grants to keep your organization afloat. People who want to start their own businesses can also apply for grants. Students, veterans, single mothers, disabled people, teachers, etc. can also receive grants. However, the keyword here is research. It does not matter which category of individuals you belong to, you will have to do a lot of research to find the right grant for yourself.
Validation of Your Business Idea
When you get the grants from a big private organization, it is a confirmation that the business idea you are putting your efforts in has been validated. Sometimes, you are fighting for a particular cause but you are not sure if you have the back of the community. However, when you apply for grants and get it from a big organization, it is a proof that you have legitimate and practical business. It also gives you recognition in the community and opens doors for further aid from other organization without even requiring you to apply for grants.
Disadvantages of Grants
Not Easily Discovered
Before you apply for grants, you will have to go through a long process of finding the right ones. Of course, you are technically looking for free money that does not need to be returned. Most of the people out there are investing their money for returns. Finding the right grant for your purpose can be quite a task. It will take time but once you have succeeded, you will be elated.
Long Approval Process
One of the things you have to keep in mind before you apply for grants is the approval process. As mentioned earlier, you have to prove your eligibility to get the grant. Proving your eligibility can be quite difficult. You will have to submit a lot of documents. Even when you have done that, you will have to wait for weeks and months before your application for grant gets accepted. So, be patient and do not lose a chance to get grants due to your impatience.
Also, you want to apply for grants well before the time you need the money. You don’t want to apply at the eleventh hour because getting grants is never a process of one or two days or even weeks.
Not Enough Coverage
Individuals who apply for grants must know that the money they will receive is going to be quite limited. It is given to you for a specific purpose and for that purpose only. For that reason, the money you receive is very calculated. You have to make sure that you earn the most value out of it. Furthermore, if you need more money, like in the case of a business, you should keep on looking for other options. Thinking that the grants will cover everything for you can be a mistake.
It does not matter whether you are a student, a veteran or a disabled person, some thorough research can always give you some great options to apply for grants and get them. Just make sure that you are mentally prepared to submit a lot of documents before you can prove your eligibility to get the grants. Furthermore, have patience and know that it can easily take months before you finally receive the news that your application has been accepted and you are getting the money.