What to Know About Student Entrepreneurship Grants

Plant growing from coin jar symbolizing student's efforts in grant writing It is one thing to know about grant money available for student entrepreneurship, it’s another to understand the grant writing process and how to go about accessing and receiving that money. Many university students either work part-time while they are in school to help pay the bills, work all summer, or do both. Not very many students, however, are aware that there is both public and private money out there just waiting to be thrown at them if they can prove they have a viable business idea they are passionate about.

Grant writing and entrepreneurship funds

If you have an idea that you are trying to get off the ground, but just don’t have the funds to make it happen, consider the following information about student entrepreneurship grants, and grants for entrepreneurs under the age of thirty. They are available from both private and public funders, and can help you capitalize a project that has real potential, but which requires a financial push to get going.

The Ontario Entrepreneurship Funds and Resources for People Under 30

The province of Ontario (and many other provinces have a similar list of programs) provides a number of programs, and a pool of funds for young entrepreneurs. From the “Starter Company” program – a program for Ontario youth aged 18 to 29 which provides mentorship, training, and potentially $5,000-worth of funding – to “Microlending for Women in Ontario program – which provides entrepreneurship skills, financial literacy training, as well as makes young women in the province eligible for small business loans – there is sufficient money in Ontario for people with big ideas.

Perhaps the most salient to university students is the “Summer Company” grant, which provides up to $1,500 dollars to help businesses with start-up costs, and an additional $1,500 dollars when you finish all of the program application requirements. You also receive mentorship from a local business leader in order to help get the business off the ground. A whole host of programs for young, aspiring businessmen and women are available in Ontario. Part of the application process for most of these loans and bursaries involves a grant writing stage, where you make the case about why you are deserving of the funds, what you plan to do with them, and how your business idea will eventually take off. Homework Help Global provides grant writing services to students for such purposes, helping you articulately, and succinctly explain why you are a deserving candidate, and what you plan to do with the money.

Remember that you are selling a solution to a problem (or a gap in the market)

In order to get your hands on government and private funding for your business venture, you are going to need to convince whoever is responsible for doling that money out that your business serves a real market need. It’s even better if it serves both a market and a social need. Just because the money is there for student entrepreneurs, does not mean the government (or private organizations) are going to be willing to just throw money at anyone who asks for it. They want to know that you have a target in mind, and, more importantly, that you have designed a system for measuring success – whether that be sales, conversions, click-throughs, etc.

Before applying for funding it is a good idea to have already done your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. You must identify why your business is going to thrive in the market (i.e. what are its strengths or its competitive edge); where it is vulnerable (e.g. where another product is already competing with you, the cost of your raw materials, shipping costs, etc.); where there is space for your business in the market (e.g. nobody is currently offering the product in the same way you are, or you are adding a unique value), and the potential threats that could make the venture unsuccessful (new regulations, changing demographic trends, etc.).

Be realistic about your budget

When you’re doing grant writing, it is important to understand what it is going to cost you to run your business, and sell your product(s)/service the way you would like. If the grant, bursary, or loan you are applying for is a fixed amount, be honest about whether or not you can reliably run your business with that money. This will also help you be more open and honest about what you are able to deliver.

The organizations and people funding you want to have a clear picture of what they can expect to see in terms of return on investment (so to speak), so be as objective, and dispassionate as you can be when evaluating what it’s going to cost to do things properly. If need be, it is always an option to apply for funds from multiple sources, hedging your bets (in the event you are shut down by one), and pooling funds for more capital.

Work part-time until you’ve secured your funding

The worst thing you can do is to count your chickens before they’ve hatched and assume you’ve secured your funding. These funding processes can be quite competitive, and you have to plan for the worst case scenario. Until you’ve received a letter confirming you are going to be getting money for your business, you should have an alternate income stream so that you are not left twisting in the wind. Keep whatever part-time, or full-time job you are currently working just in case. If you are really a workaholic, you can keep your formal job even when you do end up getting that grant money. More money for you, more money to pay for school and/or grow your new business.

If you have never put together this sort of application before, it pays to have a professional writer help you out, ensuring that your grant application is polished, professional, and stands out above the rest. Contact Homework Help Global and let us assign you one of our professional academic business writers, giving you an edge on your grant writing.

References:

(2018). “Entrepreneurship Funds and Resources for People Under 30.” Government of Ontario. Retrieved from:
https://www.ontario.ca/page/entrepreneurship-funds-and-resources-people-under-30

Campbell, C. (2017). “How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis (With 6+ Examples).” Shopify. Retrieved from: https://www.shopify.com/blog/74665093-want-to-future-proof-your-business-try-a-swot-analysis

Rizzi, K. (2016). “Canadian Business Financing: Grants and Loans for Young Entrepreneurs in Canada.” Canada One. Retrieved from: http://www.canadaone.com/magazine/loan_programs.html

Wallace, A. (2018). “How to Write a Successful Funding Application.” School for Social Entrepreneurs. Retrieved from: https://www.the-sse.org/resources/starting/how-to-write-successful-funding-applications/

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