9 Federal Small Business Grants
Federal organizations other than the Small Business Administration (SBA) or the Dept. of Treasury offer grants to support small businesses.
Review the listing below to see if any of these opportunities can apply to you!
Small Business Innovation Research Program:
Good For: Technology Companies
The SBIR grant program is for entrepreneurs focused on innovations in technology that have the potential for commercialization. You can check its funding opportunities here. Focus areas from the past include clean and safe water, homeland security, land revitalization, green construction, advancement of health care, and more.
Small Business Technology Transfer Program:
Good For: Energy-Focused Businesses
The STTR program aims to expand funding for innovative research and development leveraging existing technology. What makes this program unique from the SBIR program is that small businesses get the opportunity to formally collaborate with research institutions throughout the program. Each agency sets its own guidelines — check here for open STTR grants.
Department of Defense Grants:
Good For: R&D Companies
The DoD offers grants to small businesses through the STTR program and a number of other initiatives, like the Defense Enterprise Science Initiative. The Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office, and the U.S. Army Research Institute are all looking for research and development of technology that will help them reach their goals.
Department of Energy Grants:
Good For: Innovative Technology Companies
The DOE offers grants through the SBIR and STTR programs for innovative research and development leveraging technology developed by a university or a DOE National Lab. Check here for its current grant openings.
National Institute of Health (NIH) Grants:
Good For: Biomedical Businesses
NIH is a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It offers business grants to small businesses developing and researching biomedical technology. It is currently funding opportunities related to COVID-19 research.
Department of Justice Grants:
Good For: Public Safety Projects
The DOJ allocates grant funding to projects that support law enforcement, public safety activities, programs to improve the criminal justice system, and more. Here’s an overview of the agencies within the DOJ that provide grants.
Department of the Interior Grants:
Good For: A Variety of Businesses
The DOI offers small business grants through several departments, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, Indian Affairs, National Park Service, and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Find other DOI grant opportunities on Grants.gov.
USDA Rural Development Business Grants:
Good For: Small Rural Businesses
The Department of Agriculture offers both loans and grants to support businesses in rural areas to create quality jobs. It funds community projects such as the development of housing, community facilities, and other services.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Grants:
Good For: Agriculture & Food Nonprofits
The NIFA is a federal agency within the USDA with a focus on leadership and funding programs. It offers grants throughout the year, which come with support and guidance. Be mindful that many of its grants are offered to nonprofits or larger businesses.