37+ Best Small Business Grants, Loans, Funding Programs (SoFlo 2024 Guide)

Last updated on April 30th, 2024 at 09:00 pm

Michael Holland - Updated on April 30th, 2024

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In this post, you’ll discover some great small business funding options that could benefit your South Florida company. That includes loans, grants, and even a few non-traditional sources.

Like you, I’m a small business owner continually seeking ways to grow. But when it comes to funding, there’s a recommended rule of thumb.

Start at home by leveraging your own financial assets, contacts, reputation, and community knowledge. Then, expand your search.

So, if you’re ready to spread your entrepreneurial wings, this guide is for you.

What Are the Best Small Business Grants, Loans, & Other Funding Sources for South Florida Startups and Growing Companies?

Below are more than 37 business funding resources, organized first at the city level, then region/state, and finally nationwide and online. Let’s dig in!

CITY OF CORAL SPRINGS

Small Business Grants (1-3)

Since I live in Coral Springs, the city government would be the logical place to begin my search for external funding – specifically to identify any pertinent economic development initiatives. 

If you reside in a different city, contact your local government or visit their website. You may discover grants similar to these or perhaps low-interest loans.

Coral Springs City Hall pictured

1. Commercial Property Enhancement Grant Program

Description: This program seeks to elevate the curb appeal and boost safety measures for commercial buildings within Coral Springs. 

The grant provides financial assistance, covering 50% of the documented costs of building improvements up to a maximum of $25,000. 

By incentivizing property owners or tenants to undertake these enhancements, the program aligns with the overarching goals outlined in the CRA’s Redevelopment Master Plan.

Qualifications: You must be an existing building owner within the designated Community Redevelopment Area boundaries. 

The goal is to facilitate improvements that enhance the visual attractiveness of commercial buildings and bolster safety measures in the rear areas.

2. Economic Development Permit and Impact Fee Grant Program

Description: This initiative aims to stimulate new business development and support redevelopment endeavors within Coral Springs. 

The program offers financial assistance by reimbursing eligible fees associated with development and construction projects. You could receive up to 50% reimbursement of the eligible fees, with a maximum grant amount of $50,000.

Qualifications: To qualify for this program, you must demonstrate your involvement in new business development or redevelopment projects within the City of Coral Springs. 

Eligible fees subject to reimbursement include:

-Building permit fees
-Inspection fees
-Water and sewer connection & impact fees
-Planning and zoning fees

3. Building Exterior Improvement Program

Description: This program is aimed at revitalizing and enhancing the physical characteristics, visual appeal, and overall attractiveness of office, retail, manufacturing, and industrial buildings in Coral Springs. 

The program reimburses up to 50% of the total eligible costs associated with comprehensive capital improvements to the property’s exterior. The maximum reimbursement is capped at $50,000 per project. 

The goal is to boost occupancy rates and increase property values.

Qualifications: Your property must be categorized as an office, retail, manufacturing, or industrial building. 

Eligible improvements covered under this program include significant repairs and enhancements to areas such as:

– Exterior building components
– Concrete restoration
– Plumbing and electrical work
– Roof replacement or repair
– Impact-resistant windows and doors

Note: New construction projects do not qualify for this program.

4. Coral Springs Coconut Creek Chamber of Commerce

Description: The Chamber aims to foster business growth and prosperity in the area. It offers a wide array of promotional avenues to help its member businesses. 

From networking events to advertising opportunities, the Chamber provides valuable resources to help companies gain visibility and connect with potential customers and partners. 

Additionally, the organization may have information on funding options available to businesses in the Coral Springs area.

Coral Springs and Coconut Creek Chamber of Commerce

Qualifications: Membership in the Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber is open to all business owners. 

By joining, entrepreneurs access many promotional tools, networking opportunities, and business development resources to support their success and growth within the local marketplace.

REGIONAL & STATE FUNDING SOURCES

Includes Minority Small Business Loans & Programs (5-9)

5. Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC)

Description: The FSMSDC’s mission is to empower minority entrepreneurs by equipping them with the knowledge and tools to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

It is a valuable resource for minority-owned enterprises, offering complimentary or low-cost consulting services to help these businesses thrive.

Through partnerships with various firms, the Council guides accessing capital and financing, identifying contracting opportunities, navigating legal and accounting matters, crafting business plans, and more.

florida business council website

Qualifications: Eligibility criteria for the FSMSDC’s services may vary depending on the specific funding source or program. 

Interested minority-owned businesses are encouraged to contact the Council directly to determine their qualifications and explore opportunities tailored to their unique needs.

6. Prospera

Description: Prospera is a nonprofit economic development organization that delivers bilingual support to Hispanic entrepreneurs seeking to launch or grow their businesses. 

The organization offers a comprehensive suite of services designed specifically for Hispanic small business owners, including training programs, consulting services, business advancement resources, and access to capital. 

Prospera’s team provides personalized guidance to clients, including assisting them in securing funding from various sources and developing business plans.

Prospera website

Qualifications: Prospera maintains a strong partnership with Ascendus, Florida’s largest micro-lender, which offers financing options ranging from $500 to $250,000 to small business owners unable to get traditional bank loans or with poor or limited credit histories. 

7. Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF)

Description: BBIF is a nonprofit, mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) seeking to help Florida businesses thrive by providing loan capital and training. 

Additionally, BBIF plays a role in stabilizing distressed neighborhoods. It invests in economic development projects that aim to create jobs and revitalize communities.

Qualifications: BBIF offers loan products to businesses with at least twelve months of verifiable business revenue. 

One of their flagship offerings is the Small Business Loan Fund, which provides term loans ranging from $10,000 to $350,000 for working capital, equipment purchases, refinancing high-interest debt, and owner-occupied commercial real estate acquisitions.

8. Urban League of Broward County

Description: The Urban League’s Small Business Loan Fund (SBLF) is a community development financial institution (CDFI) dedicated to improving access to credit for minority and women-owned businesses across Florida. 

With a diverse team of business professionals, the SBLF specializes in tailoring loan terms to meet the unique needs of small businesses. Since its inception in 2017, the SBLF has facilitated over $4.2 million in loan capital to more than 50 unique small businesses.

Urban League of Broward County loan program

Qualifications: While the Urban League’s SBLF provides loans to small businesses throughout Florida, its principal focus lies in supporting enterprises located in South Florida – Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties. 

The SBLF extends flexible loan terms across a wide range of business types, with personalized guidance and support throughout the life of the loan to help businesses grow.

9. Supplier Diversity Small Business (SDSB) Program

Description: Broward College established the Supplier Diversity Small Business (SDSB) Program to foster a diverse and inclusive community. 

This initiative aims to provide qualified small businesses with preferential opportunities when procuring certain products and services. 

Qualifications: To participate, you must register through their Supplier Registration Portal and complete the application process. Your businesses must also be located within Broward, Palm Beach, or Miami-Dade County. 

Additionally, you must hold valid certifications from one of the following agencies or organizations: 

– Broward County Government (Florida), Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC), or Miami-Dade County Government (Florida). 

– Palm Beach County Government (Florida), School Board of Broward County (Florida), State of Florida, or the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council – Florida (WBENC).

10. Accion (Small Business Startups & Hardship Loans)

Description: Accion East and Online is a microfinance organization that provides small business loans and credit advice to entrepreneurs who face challenges accessing traditional financing.

They collaborate with local partners to develop and scale responsible digital financial solutions tailored for underserved communities worldwide. 

Qualifications: Accion offers small business loans ranging from $500 to $50,000, along with credit and business advice for small business owners who cannot access traditional credit for various reasons. 

Their services cater to home-based businesses, retail stores, and small business startups, providing a valuable lifeline for entrepreneurs seeking alternative financing options.

11. Center for Enterprise Opportunity (CEO)

Description: The CEO is a not-for-profit organization differentiating itself from traditional banks. Their mission in lending extends beyond mere profit-making.

It encompasses helping individuals increase their incomes, create job opportunities for residents, and foster the growth of prosperous businesses that uplift neighborhoods and build social capital within communities.

CEO Ventures investor capital

Qualifications: They offer various loan products to support economic development in distressed communities, including microloans ranging from $500 to $35,000 and small business loans from $35,000 to $100,000. 

Additionally, they provide technical assistance and access to a network of business resource centers and small business incubators.

12. Central County Community Development Corp (CCCDC)

Description: The CCCDC manages the BMSD (Broward Municipal Services District) Revolving Loan Fund Program. It offers a comprehensive suite of loan products designed to cater to businesses of all sizes while providing flexible repayment terms and conditions. 

This unique financing opportunity is available to businesses currently located within or planning to relocate to the BMSD (Broward Municipal Services District) area.

Qualifications: The Small Dollar Loan Fund, which is a BMSD Revolving Loan Fund Program component, is available to businesses registered on Sunbiz (Florida’s official business entity search) for at least 18 months. 

Loans range from $2,000 to $9,999 and can be obtained with repayment terms spanning 1 to 2 years. 

These loans carry interest rates lower than standard market rates, and successful repayment may qualify businesses for more significant loan amounts in the future.

13. Florida Venture Forum (Venture Capital)

Description: Established in 1984, the Florida Venture Forum is a nonprofit membership organization that fosters growth and investment opportunities for Florida-based entrepreneurs and private companies. The organization has raised over $10 billion.

As the state’s largest support and networking platform for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, the Forum facilitates educational and networking avenues, enabling companies to attract and connect with private investment capital sources.

florida venture a provider of seed capital for small businesses

Qualifications: The eligibility criteria may vary based on the venture capital fund you pursue.

Some funds focus on particular sectors like healthcare or technology. In contrast, others may seek a more active role in influencing business activities and decision-making processes within the companies they invest in.

14. Greater Ft Lauderdale Alliance

Description: To maintain its globally competitive business climate, Greater Fort Lauderdale offers a comprehensive suite of benefits to businesses considering relocation or expansion within the region.

These advantages include financial incentives to assist with operational costs, streamlined regulatory processes for smoother transitions, low tax burdens, and access to innovative workforce development programs consistently ranked among the nation’s best.

Qualifications: Eligibility for incentives and support offered by the Greater Ft Lauderdale Alliance may vary depending on the specific contributions and advantages a business can deliver to the local economy and community.

15. OUR Microlending

Description: OUR is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

It serves the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs through microloans in its target market: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. 

OUR has facilitated over 5,600 business loans totaling over $61 million in disbursements, complemented by nearly 16,800 hours of technical assistance.

OUR Microlending program

Qualifications: At OUR, the loan application process is designed to be accessible and personalized.

Microfinance Specialists conduct on-site visits to client businesses, assisting them in gathering the necessary information and requirements and completing the requisite forms for submission to the credit committee.

This hands-on approach helps to alleviate the burden on clients, who no longer need to navigate complicated paperwork or endure lengthy waiting periods in an office setting.

16. Partners for Self-Employment

Description: Since 1993, Partners for Self Employment, Inc. has promoted financial well-being for low- to moderate-income individuals and families in South Florida. 

Through financial literacy training and access to borrowing and saving opportunities, the organization strives to empower its constituents and facilitate their economic self-sufficiency.

The organization prides itself on being a cost-effective provider of financial and training services while also serving as a prudent and responsible steward of the funds entrusted to it.

Qualifications: The Direct Loan Program offered by Partners for Self Employment is aimed at entrepreneurs poised to take their businesses to the next level, providing loans up to $35,000 to support their growth and expansion plans.

17. South Florida Regional Planning Council (SFRPC)

Description: The SFRPC Revolving Loan Fund Programs (SFRPC-RLF) were created in response to the devastating impact of Hurricane Andrew, which struck Miami-Dade County on August 24, 1992, causing widespread destruction.

Today, the SFRPC partners with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to provide affordable small business loans in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties.

The Council’s RLF Program caters to the financing needs of the companies that conventional lenders may not adequately serve.

South Florida Regional Planning Council small business loan program

Qualifications: Your business must be located within Miami-Dade, Broward, or Monroe counties. 

The program targets existing businesses seeking to expand, relocate, create jobs, or retain existing employment opportunities. 

Applicants must demonstrate their efforts to secure financing through conventional banking institutions, as RLF funds are intended to serve as gap financing, complementing primary bank loans. 

Additional requirements include a 10% to 20% equity stake from the owner in the project, collateral pledges commensurate with the loan amount and overall credit risk, and personal guarantees from parties with over 20% ownership interest.

18. Florida Job Growth Grant

Description: This Florida small business grant is an economic development program designed to stimulate public infrastructure improvements and workforce training initiatives across the state. 

Proposed projects are reviewed by FloridaCommerce, the state’s public-private economic development partnership, with selected proposals receiving funding approval from the Governor’s office to address specific workforce or infrastructure needs within the local community.

Qualifications: To be considered for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, proposals must align with the program’s objectives of promoting public infrastructure enhancements and workforce training opportunities that contribute to the state’s economic growth and job creation.

19. Florida Institute - Venture Capital

Description: The Florida Institute provides equity financing opportunities to qualified Florida-based companies through its Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund.

The investment-related affairs of the Institute are managed by Florida Funders, an investment firm headquartered in Tampa with a statewide presence. 

Florida Funders oversees the Institute’s portfolio of over 60 companies and invests in early-stage innovation enterprises, leveraging a hybrid approach that combines a venture capital fund and a crowdfunding platform.

Florida Institute venture capital

Qualifications: Florida Funders evaluates and selects early-stage innovation companies to receive equity financing from the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund based on criteria aligned with the firm’s investment strategy and goals.

20. Florida Funding Sources - List of 35+ Venture Investors

Description: The Florida Institute maintains a comprehensive list of Angel Investors and Venture Capital firms actively seeking investment opportunities within the state.

Angel Investors leverage their capital to invest in early-stage businesses, often identified through online platforms or local business organizations.

On the other hand, Venture Capital Firms typically deploy larger sums of capital into high-growth companies. However, securing funding from these firms can be more challenging than other financing options.

Qualifications: Eligibility requirements for securing investments from the various Angel Investors and Venture Capital firms listed by the Florida Institute may vary based on each investor’s unique criteria.

21. SelectFlorida Trade Grants - For Companies That Export

Description: SelectFlorida offers a diverse range of trade grants through the Florida Export Diversification & Expansion program.

The grants are intended to assist qualified companies in initiating their first international export venture or diversifying into new overseas markets.

Qualifications: To be eligible for SelectFlorida’s trade grants, companies must meet the following minimum qualifications:

– Be located in Florida and registered with the Florida Division of Corporations.
– Have been in business in Florida for at least two years.
– Operate a licensed commercial facility (office, office/warehouse, manufacturing, etc.) in Florida.
– Employ between 3 and 500 full-time employees, excluding 1099 contractors.
– Have achieved at least $250,000 in annual sales.
– Be a Florida-based manufacturer whose products are made in the state.
– Offer a product line or service deemed viable in the target market by the U.S. Commercial Service or SelectFlorida.

Qualified companies can receive three trade grants annually (July 1 – June 30), with additional restrictions and exceptions potentially applying.

22. Commercial Banks

Description: Commercial banks include the likes of Wells Fargo and Bank of America. They offer various financial services and products to consumers and businesses alike. These banks also extend loans to individuals and companies.

When it comes to business lending, commercial banks typically prefer establishments with proven track records of profitability. Plus, they like adequate collateral or security to reduce risks.

Qualifications: Most commercial banks will likely require your business to demonstrate at least three consecutive years of profitability before considering them for loan approval.

An exception may be made if you have significant real estate holdings that can be used as collateral. Personal guarantees from business owners are also often mandated as part of the loan agreement.

23. Community and Business Banks

Description: Community and business banks share similarities with commercial banks. However, they lean toward business customers more than individual consumers.

These institutions compete directly with commercial banks, particularly in the lucrative mid-market company sector. This is the sweet spot comprising businesses that require a substantial suite of financial services that could generate sizable fee income for the bank.

Unlike their larger counterparts, community and business banks are better positioned to customize their loans and financial services to accommodate their business customers.

city national bank for business loands

Qualifications: Much like commercial banks, community and business banks heavily emphasize security and profitability when evaluating loan applications from businesses. 

They look for collateral, cash flow projections, and sustained profitability. City National Bank of Florida is a prime example of a business bank operating in this space.

24. Factor Lenders (Sell Your Accounts Receivable)

Description: Factor lenders offer an alternative financing solution by purchasing a company’s accounts receivable at a discounted rate.

While factor lenders typically charge higher interest rates than traditional lenders, this approach can benefit businesses with customers who take an extended period to fulfill their payment obligations. 

Qualifications: When evaluating whether to do business with you, factor lenders will likely first focus on the quality of your customer base rather than anything else. 

Then, they’ll look at your payment terms and conditions on customer sales.

25. Purchase Order Financing

Description: Purchase order financing can be a valuable method for getting cash. It’s where you have firm purchase orders but don’t have the funds to facilitate production. 

So you can secure the necessary capital for the raw materials and labor costs needed to fulfill a significant purchase order.

purchaseorderfinancing-min800

Qualifications: To qualify for purchase order financing, your businesses must present a solid track record of manufacturing the products specified in the purchase order.

Further, you’ll have to show that the purchase order is from a strong buyer like a Walmart or similar reputable entity. 

Expect purchase order lenders to carefully scrutinize your manufacturing capabilities and the buyer’s creditworthiness before approving financing. And don’t expect to catch a break on the interest rates for these loans.

NATIONWIDE & FEDERAL FUNDING SOURCES

Includes Small Business Administration Loans and Grants

26. Grow America

Description: Grow America is the nation’s most experienced and comprehensive nonprofit organization dedicated to community and economic development.

They have provided loans to small businesses and nonprofits for over three decades. Their mission is to empower borrowers to develop equity, create jobs, and build their communities through access to capital and resources.

Grow America small business lending

Qualifications: Grow America offers a different approach to financing, catering to entrepreneurs seeking capital to grow their businesses.

Whether securing working capital, acquiring equipment, or refinancing existing high-interest or short-term debt, Grow America’s flexible financing resources may provide the solution you need to propel your venture forward.

27. Small Business Administration (SBA) - Private Investors Network

Description: The SBA facilitates connections between small businesses seeking investment and a network of over 300 Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) licensed and regulated by the agency.

These privately owned SBICs provide debt and equity investments to eligible small businesses, leveraging their expertise in specific sectors or industries.

While the SBA does not directly invest in small businesses, it provides funding to the SBICs, combining private funds with SBA-guaranteed capital to support small business growth.

Qualifications: To secure investment from an SBIC, your small businesses must meet the eligibility criteria established by the specific SBIC they are engaging with.

Each firm may have its unique investment focus and requirements based on factors such as industry, stage of growth, or market potential.

28. Small Business Administration - 7a Loan Program

Description: The 7(a) Loan Program is the SBA’s most widely utilized loan program, offering flexible terms to accommodate various business needs. 

Through this program, the SBA provides loan guarantees to lenders, enabling them to extend financial assistance to small businesses with specific requirements. 

These loans come with some flexibility, including acquiring, refinancing, or improving real estate and buildings, refinancing existing business debt, purchasing and installing machinery and equipment, and more.

small business administration 7a loan program

Qualifications: To qualify for a 7(a) loan, your company must be actively operating for profit, demonstrate creditworthiness and a reasonable ability to repay the loan.

The loan amount is primarily determined by the nature of the business’s operations, its credit history, and its geographic location. The maximum loan amount is $5 million.

29. Small Business Administration - Microloans for Startups

Description: The SBA Microloan program is designed to support the startup and expansion of small businesses and specific not-for-profit childcare centers.

This program provides loans up to $50,000, with the average microloan amount being approximately $13,000. These small loans can be a valuable resource for entrepreneurs embarking on their small business ventures.

Qualifications: The SBA does not directly provide microloans to borrowers.

Instead, it funds designated intermediary lenders and nonprofit community-based organizations with expertise in lending, management, and technical assistance.

These intermediaries administer the Microloan program and evaluate borrowers’ eligibility based on established criteria.

30. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance

Description: In the aftermath of a declared disaster, the SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to help affected individuals and businesses recover and rebuild.

This program aims to provide financial relief and support to those impacted by natural or man-made disasters, enabling them to address the damages and losses incurred.

Qualifications: The SBA’s disaster assistance loans are available to many applicants, including businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations.

Your business must be located within a declared disaster area and meet specific criteria. The SBA evaluates each application individually to determine eligibility and the appropriate level of assistance.

31. Small Business Administration (SBA) Grants

Description: While the Small Business Administration does not directly provide grants for starting or expanding a business, it does offer grant funding opportunities through two specific programs.

The first is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which provide grants to small businesses engaged in scientific research and development with high commercial potential.

Second, the SBA offers grants to nonprofit Resource Partners and educational organizations.

Qualifications: To be eligible for the SBIR and STTR grant programs, your businesses must be engaged in scientific research and development activities that align with federal research and development objectives and have a strong potential for commercialization if successful.

32. SCORE

Description: SCORE is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, dedicated to supporting small business owners through its network of over 10,000 volunteers.

SCORE provides free mentoring, education, and resources tailored to address diverse needs and challenges.

Whether seeking access to small business funding, enhancing business knowledge, or addressing specific hurdles, SCORE offers personalized guidance and expertise to help small businesses thrive.

score small business assistance website

Qualifications: Any business owner or aspiring entrepreneur can benefit from the services and resources SCORE offers.

33. WomensNet (Small Business Grants for Women)

Description: Women entrepreneurs and small business owners in Florida should be aware of the grant opportunities offered by WomensNet.

This includes the Amber Grant, which awards $10,000 or $1,000 each month, and a year-end Amber Grant worth $25,000. 

Other available grants include the $10,000 Startup Grant awarded quarterly, the $10,000 Business Category Grant awarded monthly, and the annual Marketing Grant designed to support marketing planning efforts.

These grants provide valuable financial assistance to women-owned businesses in various stages of growth and development.

small business grants for women

Qualifications: To be eligible for WomensNet grants, a business must be at least 50% woman-owned and based in the United States or Canada.

You’ll need to complete a single application, which will automatically consider you for all available grants. The application requires a detailed explanation of the business and how the grant funds would be utilized.

34. National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

Description: Since 2006, the NASE has awarded nearly $1,000,000 to its members through the Growth Grants program, providing valuable financial support to small businesses.

Members can receive up to $4,000, enabling them to invest in various aspects of their business, such as marketing, advertising, hiring employees, expanding facilities, and addressing other specific needs.

Qualifications: You must be a member in good standing with the organization. The evaluation process considers factors such as your business’s specific needs, the intended use of the grant proceeds, and the potential positive impact on growth and profitability.

The NASE carefully reviews each application to ensure the funds will be effectively utilized to drive sustainable business growth.

35. America's Seed Fund (ASE) - Startup Business Funding

Description: The ASE is comprised of the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR).

It offers non-dilutive funding opportunities to support the development and commercialization of innovative technologies. 

Through these programs, the federal government invests in promising technological solutions, providing financial backing and the freedom for small businesses to manage their operations according to their vision.

Participants retain ownership of their equity and intellectual property while benefiting from annual investments totaling over $4 billion across over 4,000 funded companies.

Qualifications: Your small businesses must have a specific scientific or technological solution in mind.

The programs are designed to support innovative ideas with strong commercial potential, providing funding and the autonomy to drive business growth while aligning with federal research and development objectives.

CROWDFUNDING FOR BUSINESS

Ask Regular People to Contribute to Your Vision

36. Indeigogo

Description: Indiegogo is a crowdfunding platform that serves as a launchpad for new and groundbreaking products, often introducing innovations to the market before they become widely available.

With thousands of campaigns launching weekly, Indiegogo offers various clever and unconventional solutions to everyday problems, spanning multiple areas such as technology, design, and beyond.

Indiegogo helps surface cutting-edge products and concepts before they enter the mainstream market by providing a platform for entrepreneurs worldwide to showcase their innovative ideas.

indiegogo crowdfunding website for your small business

Qualifications: To launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, entrepreneurs and creators must sign up and present a compelling case for their product or idea to the global community of potential backers and supporters.

37. GoFundMe

Description: GoFundMe is a leading crowdfunding platform designed to help individuals, groups, and organizations raise funds for causes they care about.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur seeking financial support for a business venture, a nonprofit organization raising money for a specific initiative, or an individual needing assistance, GoFundMe provides a user-friendly platform to share your story and connect with potential donors.

gofundmewebsite-min800

Qualifications: While there are no strict eligibility requirements for using GoFundMe, success on the platform is determined by your ability to craft a compelling narrative and provide a convincing reason for people to contribute to your cause or campaign.

A well-crafted story and clear communication of your goals and intended use of funds can significantly increase your chances of resonating with potential donors.

Small Business Funding - FAQ

What are the main types of small business funding through the SBA?

The primary source of lending through the SBA is the 7(a) loan program which provides up to $5 million. They also offer 504 loans to buy real estate, remodeling projects, and major equipment purchases.

There’s also a Microloan program that offers up to $50,000. And they maintain a network of approved investors and lenders that is supported by SBA guarantees. 

How hard is it to get approved for an SBA loan?

The odds are highest for getting approved for an SBA 7a loan. But don’t jump for joy yet. According to Swoop Funding, large banks approve SBA loans at a rate of 20% to 30%, and smaller banks approve them at less than 40%.

Part of the the low percentages is that there is a lot of competition for these loans. But don’t let that stop you.

What are some small business grants for women in Florida?

In the list above, we included WomensNet, one of the most popular grant programs, as well as the Urban League. There’s also the Cartier Women’s Initiative which is more global.

What are the best sources of funding for small businesses in Florida?

You should always start with your city government. Most of them have economic development departments. As I discovered with Coral Springs, you may find grants or favorable programs that match your business situation. 

After that, expand your search to the county and state level. And, of course, there is the federal Small Business Administration. 

Wrap Up.

I hope the list above is enough to point you in the right direction. I will continue to update this guide as more funding sources become available.

I would add that before applying for any loan, have a well-thought-out business plan and game plan. 

If it helps, watch several episodes of Shark Tank to fine-tune your presentation skills and memorize your numbers. Good luck, and be sure to share this guide with other current and would-be business owners.

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