5 Best Corporate Small Business Grants in 2021

If free money for your small business sounds too good to be true, you’re not alone. However, with corporate small business grants, obtaining free money for your business is absolutely possible.

With so many corporate business grants available, finding the right one for your business is essential. We’re here to share the top corporate small business grants to help your business grow.


Top Corporate Small Business Grants

The first step to obtaining corporate small business grant money is to find the right grant for your business’s needs. Not only does narrowing the scope of grants you're eligible for make the application process easier, it increases the chances of your business being awarded the grant money or services being offered.

Our Approach:

Choosing the best business grant comes down to three things:

  1. The type of business you have
  2. The needs of your business
  3. What you want for the future of your business

Our Top Corporate Business Grants:

  1. The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest offers the best corporate small business grant for growth. Small businesses looking to grow their business can find potential funding through the annual FedEx Business Grant Contest.
  2. Wells Fargo Community Giving offers the best grant for nonprofits. Wells Fargo Community Giving offers grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofits and other organizations to help create positive change for at-risk communities.
  3. The Visa Everywhere Initiative offers the best corporate business grant for innovation. The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a global grant opportunity that encourages entrepreneurs to submit solutions for today’s payment challenges in exchange for cash prizes.
  4. The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grant offers the best business grant for startups. Startups looking for an extra bit of funding to complete projects, hire help, or otherwise grow their business can apply for the NASE Growth Grant to scale their startup company.
  5. Kuvio Creative offers the best corporate grant for women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and veteran-owned businesses. The Kuvio Creative Impact grant is a grant opportunity for underserved business owners and nonprofits to receive essential business services.

Best Business Grant for Growth: FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

Grant amount: $15,000-$50,000

FedEx offers one of the best-known small business grants. Developed to support businesses looking to grow — this is a great grant option for businesses that are looking to scale their small business. Twelve contestants are chosen to receive grant money — the first place winner earning $50,000 and $7,500 in FedEx credit.

Unlike other grants with formal application processes, FedEx’s small business grant only requires a one-minute video, photos that capture your business’s personality, a logo, and a short profile to enter.

To apply for a FedEx business grant, you need to meet the following criteria/eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must have been in operation for over a year.
  • Applicants must have less than 50 employees.
  • Applicants must have been using business shipping services within 12 months of applying.

Pros

  • Twelve winners are selected from applicants of the contest, so if your business isn’t first or second place you, still have ten chances to win thousands of dollars in funding.
  • Winners also receive a credit for FedEx print and business services.
  • Once you’ve entered, you can spread the word to your business’s fans to vote and increase your chances of winning.

Cons

  • Thousands of businesses apply for this grant contest every year with only twelve winners selected, making this one of the more competitive grants to win.
  • FedEx small business grants are only available to already established businesses.

Best for Nonprofits: Wells Fargo Community Giving

Grant amount: Varies based on grant and request

The Wells Fargo Community Giving grants are offered on a local and national level to nonprofit organizations, tribal entities, government agencies, or public schools and school systems. Applicants are chosen based on their alignment with three focus areas: housing affordability, financial health, or small business growth.

The mission of this grant program is to support organizations that work toward creating positive change in their communities.

To apply for a Wells Fargo Community Giving grant, you need to meet the following criteria/eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be 501(c)(3) certified, a tribal entity, a government agency, or a public school institution.
  • Applicants must demonstrate fiscal and administrative stability.
  • Applicants must deliver direct services to one of the three designated focus areas.

Pros

  • Wells Fargo offers grants on a national and local level, so there are plenty of opportunities for applicants to seek funding.
  • Organizations can apply for grants through Wells Fargo even if they have received grant money from the corporation in the past.
  • While the application must be compelling, it isn’t particularly tedious to complete.

Cons

  • For-profit businesses are not eligible for this grant.
  • The focus of the grant is strict, which makes many organizations ineligible for funding.

Best Business Grant for Innovation: Visa Everywhere Initiative

Grant amount: $10,000-$50,000

Developed to empower and support innovative startup entrepreneurs, the Visa Everywhere Initiative provides funding opportunities and business services to help startups reach their full potential. This grant program prioritizes fintech startups to create solutions to commerce problems of today and tomorrow.

Applicants are asked to provide a solution to one of the six payment challenges Visa supplies for the grant’s initiative.

To apply for a Visa Everywhere Initiative grant, you need to meet the following criteria/eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be employed at a company incorporated or registered to do business in an eligible country at the time of registration.
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Applicants cannot be employed by Visa.

Pros

  • There are six challenges that give you multiple avenues to secure grant funding.
  • There aren’t many eligibility requirements to apply for grants.
  • Solutions are used by Visa’s network of partners giving your company vast exposure.

Cons

  • This is a highly competitive grant to apply for.
  • This grant isn’t suitable for startups and small businesses that aren’t tech-focused.

Best for Startups: NASE Growth Grant

Grant amount: $4,000

The National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE) is an organization that provides monthly $4,000 grants for self-employed individuals such as small business owners. To apply for NASE Growth Grants, you must register for an account on their website.

These monthly grants are great for startups that need a little extra funding to hire help, buy equipment, or pay for any other business expenses. Specifically, startups that are looking for extra capital to grow their business may find this grant appealing.

To apply for an NASE Growth Grant, you need to meet the following criteria/eligibility requirements:

  • Your business must be a member of the NASE and be in good standing for at least three months.
  • Supply a resume and business plan along with your application.
  • Demonstrate a business need that could be met with the grant money as well as a detailed explanation of how your business will use the funding.

Pros

  • There are grant opportunities every month, which makes obtaining funding easier than annual grant programs.
  • There is a lot of freedom with what you can use this grant for; whether it’s payroll, equipment, or software, this grant allows you to support your business in whatever way is needed.
  • Being an NASE member has perks, such as tax assistance and database management.

Cons

  • You must be a member of the NASE to apply, which can cost up to $120 annually.
  • Since the Growth Grant is only $4,000, it isn’t ideal for startups looking for a large amount of funding.

Best for Women, Minorities, and Veterans: Kuvio Creative

Grant amount: Up to 100 hours of business services

The Kuvio Creative Impact Grant is an opportunity for nonprofits as well as women-owned, veteran-owned, and minority-owned small businesses to receive vital services to grow their businesses.

While this grant doesn’t involve cash funding for businesses, the winners do receive web design, web development, branding, marketing, and operations consulting services for up to 100 hours, depending on the scope of the project.

To apply for a Kuvio Creative grant, you need to meet the following criteria/eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be nonprofit organizations or women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned small businesses.
  • Applicants must demonstrate the scope of their project is defined and measurable.
  • Applicants must present a project that has a positive impact on their community.

Pros

  • Grant winners receive a variety of services to complete their projects, such as web design, web development, branding, marketing, and operations consulting.
  • There are two grant winners.
  • Depending on the scope of their project, grant winners can receive up to 100 hours of services.

Cons

  • While winners receive many valued services through this grant, applicants do not receive direct funding for their businesses.
  • Eligibility for applicants that can apply for this grant is strictly limited to a select group of people.

Final Thoughts

Corporations flex their philanthropic muscles by supplying entrepreneurs with funding to maintain, start, and support their businesses. In addition to this, grantees can be rewarded with services, tools, and recognition from some of the most successful companies in the world.

However, if you aren’t finding the right grant for your business needs, there are alternatives to this type of funding, including business loans and lines of credit to support your business financially.

Explore More Business Grants