Corporate small-business grants

Many corporations and large companies have a philanthropic component that includes small-business grants. While some provide grants to nonprofits servicing specific industries only, some also give to for-profit companies.

National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grant  - NASE members can apply for monthly small-business grants worth up to $4,000, as well as an annual $3,000 college scholarship for members’ dependents. Grants are awarded year-round, with completed applications reviewed quarterly in January, April, July and October.

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest  - In 2024, FedEx’s annual grant competition will award one $50,000 grand prize and nine additional $20,000 grants. The application window is open from March 1 to April 1. The contest is for U.S.-based, for-profit small businesses with fewer than 99 employees. You must also have a valid FedEx business shipping account number and currently ship with FedEx to apply.

American Express Backing Small Businesses - The Backing Small Businesses grant program is a collaboration between American Express and Main Street America. Now in its third year, the program will award $10,000 grants to up to 500 small businesses. Of those, 25 businesses will receive $30,000 Enhancement Grants, which have limited use cases. To be eligible, your business must be located in historic main street, downtown or commercial district. Applications are accepted from March 14 - April 7, 2024.

Verizon Small Business Grant - Verizon’s Digital Ready program gives business owners the opportunity to access free courses and educational materials, as well as apply for grant funding. To be eligible for a $10,000 small-business grant, entrepreneurs must register through the Verizon website and complete at least two of the following: courses, live coaching or community events.

Small Business Growth Fund Grant - The Small Business Growth Fund, a partnership between the Global Entrepreneur Fund and Hello Alice — funded by Etsy and Progressive — is an annual program designed to help entrepreneurs grow their operations. In 2023, the program awarded grants between $5,000 and $25,000 to for-profit U.S.-based businesses that had less than $1 million in gross revenue in 2022. Application information has not yet been announced for 2024.

Venmo Small Business Grant - The Venmo Small Business Grant program awards 20 eligible entrepreneurs with $10,000 grants for their small businesses. It also offers public promotion on the Venmo website and social media accounts, as well as mentorship from industry leaders. To qualify, you must have a U.S. Venmo account and a valid business profile on Venmo in good standing. You also must have less than $50,000 in annual sales and 10 employees or fewer. Applications for the 2024 cycle have not yet been announced.

Amazon Small Business Grant - The annual Amazon Small Business Grant program offers free grants to small businesses that have an Amazon Business account and $1 million or less in annual revenue. The program offers grants to 15 businesses, ranging in amounts from $15,000 to $25,000. Winners can also receive a one-year membership to Business Prime and free products from eero Wifi and Kindle Scribe. Information has not been announced for 2024, but business owners can sign up for email updates on the Amazon website.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Top Small Business Awards - America’s Top Small Business Awards recognizes a small business for its contributions to the U.S. economy and offers a grant of $25,000. The competition also gives awards to businesses in a variety of categories, such as emerging business and green/sustainable business, with associated prizes. Although you must have an existing business to qualify, you only need to have been in operation for one year. Applications for the 2024 cycle are not yet available.

Visa Everywhere Initiative -The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a grant competition that offers free funding to tech-forward startups across five different regions around the globe. Applicants must show how they’ve developed a product or service that creatively involves Visa’s products.

Visa will select the top five finalists in each region, and these businesses will move forward to a global finals event. The overall winner of the competition is awarded a $50,000 small-business grant. Additional grants are awarded to second- and third-place finalists, audience favorites, as well as regional and local winners.

Lenovo Evolve small-business grant - The Lenovo Evolve Small initiative is a program designed to support small businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada by offering grants and technology donations. This year, the Lenovo Evolve Grant provided 30 small businesses with $10,000 in funding, a Lenovo laptop and business support. The 2023 cycle winners will be announced in early 2024.