Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Grant Program For Entrepreneurs!

Here is a quite bold grant competition program that is seeking entrepreneurs who have ideas to help solve the problems of the world!

The goal of this funding competition is to promote the creation of sustainable new business ventures that combine financial returns with social and environmental benefits. These can include new products and services, operational processes and business models.

The competition encourages ground breaking innovation and problem solving – challenging entrepreneurs from across the world to make a real difference through developing new markets and making a sustainable profit.

This funding opportunity is an open funding competition. They are looking for the best business ideas from across the world!

Entries will be accepted from individuals, teams, new companies, existing companies creating spin-offs, students, scientists, academics and entrepreneurs.

Regional, national and international participation is encouraged.

Business ideas can be based on a new product, a service, operational process or business model.

To be considered eligible for this competition, all entries must:

  • Be innovative

  • Be a commercial, for-profit venture

  • Address one of the major points of the organization itself

  • Not have received more than $100K in funding by the submission deadline

  • Demonstrate a positive social and/or environmental impact as well as an economic return

If you are not sure whether or not your business idea meets the above criteria, the sponsors of this funding program are happy to discuss your particular case. You can visit their website for more details and contact information.

All entrants will be required to submit a 5-page executive summary of their business idea. Up to five additional pages will be allowed for relevant exhibits and appendices e.g. team CVs, financial reports, letters from potential customers.

All entries must use 10-point or larger font and be submitted as a single Word or PDF attachment. This should be no more than 2MB in size.

Entries will only be accepted via the 4-step registration process accessed via the 'Submit your idea' page of our website.

Executive Summary Guidelines

All executive summaries should contain the following information and headings:

Team Name
Opening Statement
The Idea & Unique Selling Point (USP)
The Market Opportunity
The Management Team
The Financial Plan
The Environmental and Social Benefits

To download detailed guidance on the Executive Summary please click the link that is provided on the website. (This download is in .pdf format)

All teams must have one designated team leader. The team leader will be the main point of contact for the competition organizers and will take responsibility for coordinating with each team members.

All work submitted must be the original work of the members of the team which they are free to disclose. Teams will not be able to submit the same proposal in to more than one category, though contestants can be members of more than one team.

Entrants need not have registered a company at the time of entry to the competition but will be required to do so in order to receive cash prizes.

Financial assistance will be offered to all competition finalists. For international entrants this will cover travel and accomodation costs. For UK entrants financial assistance will cover accomodations costs on the reqired dates only.

All entries must be submitted via website!

If you have a question or query about a plan that you have already submitted, please contact the competition organizers via email.

Monday, April 21, 2008

$1 Millon Grant To Research And STUDY Daycare!

The most interesting thing about this government grant program is that it is open for for-profit businesses to apply for! For instance if you already operate a daycare and are a for-profit business you may be eligible to apply for this grant!

Here is more information about the grant program itself!

Eligible Applicants

  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education

  • Private institutions of higher education

  • Small businesses

  • For profit organizations other than small businesses

  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

Additional Information on Eligibility:

Additional eligibility types:

  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions

  • Faith-based and community organizations are eligible to apply.

  • Foreign entities are not eligible under this announcement.

The purpose of this grant program announcement is to award a cooperative agreement to operate Child Care and Early Education Research Connections for five years. This cooperative will work to support family economic self-sufficiency and child care quality for families with children ages 0-12 or with special needs by fostering a child care and early education knowledge management and support system.

Basically what this means is that this grant program fund supports projects that add to the knowledge about the efficacy of child care policies and programs toward achieving two targeted long-term outcomes which are enhancing the economic security of low-income families with young children and improving quality in all child care and early education settings.

This is basically a research and/or study grant to help find ways to better help low-income families who have young children and to find better ways to enhance child care and other educational settings that are targeted towards young children.

Other goals include:

  • Operating a state-of-the-art, web-based child care and early education project with a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of research articles and reports, selected datasets, policy data, ready access to datasets for secondary analysis, technical assistance for contributors and users, strong linkages with other archives and information systems, and ongoing synthesis of data into useful information and knowledge for child care and early education research and policy.

  • Making sound child care and early education research findings available to researchers and policymakers in accessible language and formats.

Deadline for Applications: May 2008!

Applicants are highly encouraged to send a letter of intent

Applications can be submitted via the government's website

Acceptable electronic formats for the application attachments (narratives, charts, etc.) must use the following standard technologies, i.e., Microsoft (Word and Excel), Word Perfect, Adobe PDF, Jpeg, and Gif.

It is strongly recommended that applicants do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications well before the closing date and time so that if difficulties are encountered there will still be sufficient time to submit a hard copy via express mail. It is to an applicant's advantage to submit 24 hours ahead of the closing date and time in order to address any difficulties that may be encountered.

Applications can be submitted in person, by mail and via website.

There are 2 official government agencies that can be contacted for more information. They can be reached by mail, phone and email.

Grant Award: $1.5 Million (over a period of 5 years)

Address to Request Application Package

If you would like to receive notifications of changes to this grant opportunity click send me change notification emails. The only thing you need to provide for this service is your email address. No other information is requested.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

ANOTHER Local Grant Program For Individual Artists And Organizations!

Here is yet another grant program that provides grants to individual artists as well as organizations:

There is one local non-profit arts organization that sponsors an annual fine arts and crafts fair that has awarded grants to seven performing and visual arts organizations.

First started in 1976 this grant program has been in existance for more that 30 years! Today the program focuses its support on small- and mid-sized arts organizations, providing grants of up to $2,500 to assist organizations with the creation of new programs, expansion of current programs, or assistance with production or presentation expenses.

Criteria for receiving one of the grants included quality of the art performed/produced, diversity and number of people benefiting, innovative qualities, and potential for attracting a new audience for the arts.

This funding program has also been supporting and promoting artists and the arts for 41 years. The organization's activities include: supports for individual artists including grants and exhibitions; community-based art activities and events; and a nationally-recognized annual fine arts fair.

If you are an artist who is interested in finding out more about this grant program and whether you are eligible to apply you can visit their website. You can even email them to find out more information about their grant program for individual artists.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Grant Program To Help Pay For Home Repairs!

If you think that there are no grant programs out there that can help you financially with home repairs, then please read on. Here is a city-wide grant program that is encouraging its residents to apply for grant funding for needed home repairs.

One city is seeking federal housing money to help local homeowners pay for needed home repairs again.

City officials plan to apply for this grant money through the Community Development Authority. So far the city has received over $200,000 for low-income homeowners to repair their homes. There is also a growing concern for those residents who are seniors who have trouble paying for much needed repairs on their homes but don't have the money to pay for it.

The program starts with community meetings where residents can get applications and get their questions answered. They must then return completed applications to the city to demonstrate need. Applications will also be available at the mayor's office.

The application deadline is mid-summer and cities receiving grants will be notified in November.

Work on individual homes would not be done until 2009.

In the past, the grant money was used for new roofs, new windows, siding and outside paint. There is more emphasis on repairs that need to be done on the outside of the home.
(I am assuming that because this is a city-run grant program, there is more emphasis on how the outside of the house looks in relation to the overall look of the city. A better-looking city, a better-looking revenue stream)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Here Is A Grant Program To Help A Business GET A Grant!

Since I get a good deal of information about new grant programs emailed to me on a regular basis, here is an announcement of a new grant program that has been started to help businesses GET a grant:

This grant program is being sponsored by a state-funded organization

The purpose of this new grant program is to help small businesses to improve their chances of winning federal dollars for research and development.

Up to $4,000 will be awarded to qualified businesses that need assistance apply for a grant programs being offered by the federal government. In other words, this grant program is providing grant money to businesses to help them better apply for federal grants!

The federal grant program provides grants that are designed to stimulate innovation and development in high technology industries.

The organization began accepting applications March 2008 for the $100,000 allocated for the training program, and will accept submissions until June 30th, 2008 or funds are depleted.

Acceptable grant award expenditures include:

  • consultant services

  • printing supplies

  • conference and workshop registration fees relating to applying for the federal grant program

  • database search fees and legal fees for provisional patent preparation costs

Even though states like to boast about how they have some of the most innovative businesses in the nation, too often those businesses are held back by a lack of financial resources and industry connections.

Here is a quoted excerpt from one of the members of the organization:

"The federal government has billions of dollars in grant money set aside each year that, if secured, could advance the mission of these businesses and, in turn, the economy of our state.

Last year, the federal government awarded over $2 billion in research dollars to small businesses across the nation, but only a small fraction of those funds came to one state in particular.

There seems to be an interest in this specific grant program because they are trying to increase the number of businesses in their own state that apply for these federal grants. According to records this one state only receives about 1/10th of the grant monies that some other states have been awarded in comparison to their own state. By starting this new grant program, the organizations hopes to increase those numbers and increase the amount of grant money that has been awarded to businesses in the state.

More information and applications are available at the organization's website

Monday, April 14, 2008

If Convicted Sex Offenders Can Get Federal Aid, Then Why Can't You?

I get a lot of email from people who ask about grant programs and financial aid for going back to school. They tell me that finding information about financial aid for school is too hard to find.

Then you're going to have to explain why there was a recent article about how convicted sex offenders were getting federal financial to take online courses? And to make this story even more newsworthy it turns out that a lot of them spent the money on things like clothing and music! One of Iowa's most dangerous sex offenders has received thousands of dollars in federal aid to take college courses through the mail! (Prison inmates are ineligible for this kind of funding. Students convicted of certain drug offenses are also ineligible.) One of the "loopholes" for applying for this kind of federal financial aid is that the applicant doesn't have to disclose their living arrangements on their application forms - which means that the sex offenders didn't have to disclose where they were "living". In the state of Iowa more than 10 offenders in a Cherokee Mental Health Institute received grants. More than half of them dropped their courses after receiving the grant money.

Recent information about such offenders receiving this grant money came as a result of a newspaper report about 54 offenders at one Florida center getting $200,000 in grants in one year.

Of course there are arguments on both sides about this recent finding. On the one hand some think that being able to take educational courses will help some sex offenders adjust better in society and others think that it is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

But as someone who does grant research I find the fact that those mentioned in the article were able to find out about such information about grants quite intriguing when other people have told me that they couldn't find any information about grants and / or financial assistance for going back to school. Now you even know that there is financial aid available even if you want to take online courses!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Are You An Artist That Was Effected By Hurricane Katrina?

There have been a number of artists who have been able to continue their work with the help of some financial grant programs available for those artists who have been affected by hurrincane Katrina.

For instance one artist whose home was destroyed because of Katrina was able to escape the wreckage and continue to work because an art organization offered him a two-month residency that included a stipend, room and board, and studio space.

There is another arts organization that has established a fund to help artists living in the hurricane-damaged area, and the one university in Baton Rouge, collected art supplies for artist-evacuees. A New York City-based foundation has paid at least $450,000 in grants to more than 80 artists affected by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

Every time a disaster happens, the process of creating or reviving relief funds starts again. One Recovery Fund, created by a New York Foundation has distributed $4,635,000 to organizations and individuals in New York City after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. There is a Washington, DC-based organization that has established an emergency relief fund which has given over $100,000 to different art organizations located in the Gulf Coast region. Over $400,000 has been provided to individual artists!

There is also an emergency relief fund for "Crafters" which has spearheaded the coalition, distributed between $200,000 and $300,000 to Gulf Coast craftspeople after Katrina. Additionally, the organization brokered free and discounted supplies and equipment, free booth space at craft shows, and free workshops for artisans in the region.

State unemployment insurance agencies provide disaster unemployment aid to the self-employed but only when future income is predictable.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Want To Get PAID For Smoking Marijuana?

Hard to believe but there are a group of scientists who are offering to pay people as much as $600 to essentially smoke marijuana!

Here is an excerpt from an article that explains about it more:

"A group of scientists are looking for marijuanamarijuana to help gain insight into the drug's effects. And they plan to pay subjects as much as 600 dollars to smoke their pot.

The study will examine how marijuana affects brain function and cognition, with particular attention to the duration of use and the age of first use. The measure is brain imaging studies and achievement tests, such as for math and verbal skills.

The scientists are looking for pot users and control subjects who consume alcohol and tobacco -- but not marijuana -- to participate in the study.

Subjects receive 20 dollars for an initial screening session. Those that participate fully pocket 600 dollars.

This kind of study is being done to decide / determine whether such use of marijuana is cause for criminal penalties.

Apparently this seems to be a big issue of concern with politicians and no doubt the results of this study will provide politians with information that they will need when they discuss such issues.


updated 9/5/12

Since I posted this blog post about how people get paid to smoke marijuan, I have found that these kinds of programs are still in existence! In fact there are other similar programs such as this one - for example - you can actually get paid to drink alcohol! You can also get paid over $1,000 for safe-sex research!

So yes, there are still programs out there that pay people to smoke marijuana - as hard as it is to believe!

Monday, April 7, 2008

"It's Really Hard To Give Away This Money....."

There is currently a grant program available for unlicensed childcare providers who want to be able to buy items for their childcare business.

A community action partnership in one area is offering grants to fulfill the need.

Here is a quote:

"It's really hard to give away this money. People think there's a catch."

Caregivers can purchase $400 worth of cribs, safety items and age appropriate toys or books. Even bikes can be purchased using this grant program. In one specific case bikes were purchased with the grant money because they provided much needed exercise for the children. If you can provide a very good reason for what it is you want to purchase and how you intend to use it for the children's benefit then you get a good chance of receiving the grant funding.

This is a state grant program and is free to legally unlicensed providers in that state. By state law, unlicensed providers are entitled to watch over one additional family's children. If the families are related, the caregiver can watch over a countless number of children.

Applicable to part-time or full-time workers, providers must attend a seven hour CPR or First Aid training session to receive the grant.

They also must request on the application for the items they want to purchase and get approval. Afterward, recipients will receive a check in the mail and a training certificate.

For any additional questions, you can contact the grant program by phone.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

There Are Even Grant Programs To Help Start A Business In Canada!

Here is an excerpt from their website:

".......and calls for a mining institute to retrain out-of-work forestry workers as miners, and there is $60 million over five years for young farmers and food producers to start their businesses".....

Again - never let anyone tell you that there are no grant programs to help start a business!

Even Canada has such grant programs!