Raising money for your business can be tough, and it can be even tougher when you’re trying to keep things green. Unfortunately, many investors only understand one kind of green, and it isn’t the kind that cuts down on waste and reduces emissions. If you’re thinking of breaking off, establishing your own start-up and being your own green business, you’re going to need to find funding. The good news is that the money is always there, waiting for the right entrepreneur to put it to use; you just have to know where to look.
The Environmental Protection Agency is, not surprisingly, one of the biggest financial supporters of green businesses. The EPA gives out grants every year for green start-ups, and this could be just the ticket for getting your business off the ground. You could use these grants to build work sites according to sustainable practice, or upgrade existing spaces with energy efficient appliances and systems. These EPA grant programs are one of the best resources available to environmentally conscious business owners. Applying for the grants may take a bit of work, but the payoffs are obvious and plentiful enough to make it worth every minute.
Other grants are available for green businesses in more unusual situations. The USDA operates what is known as the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which promotes renewable energy for small businesses and farms in rural areas and towns with populations under 50,000. These grants are used to establish renewable energy systems for businesses. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awards grants to businesses that focus on renewable energy options. Many of these grants have been used to help finance construction and renovation for businesses establishing clean energy use and other green-conscious endeavors. Look into these programs to see if your business could be eligible for government funded grants.
If EPA and government grants don’t come through, there are still plenty of loan and investment options available. SBA loans are loans provided by local banks and backed up by the Small Business Administration. Through loan programs like these, it is often possible to find secure financing with low interest rates for your green business. Venture capital funds are also a great place to look for funding. Lots of investors are looking for companies who will both generate high returns and provide something beneficial to communities and the environment. Look into sources like these to find financing from people who support your vision and commitment to sustainability.
Financing a business is never easy, but the rewards are many and bountiful. Whether you’re going into business in renewable energy or forensic accounting, there are plenty of ways to stay green and find funding to establish your company. The market awards ambitious entrepreneurs. Hard work, innovative ideas, and a green consciousness may not be enough to finance a business on their own, but they’ll definitely put you on the right track. Be smart about where you look for funding and you’re sure to find it eventually.