While the federal government does not provide grants for starting or growing small businesses, it does provide a myriad of services to assist entrepreneurs in pursuit of their dreams. One of the mechanisms in place to promote small business growth and economic development is the Community Development Financial Institution Fund managed by the US Department of the Treasury. In the current fiscal year the federal government is allocating more than $12 Million to support CDFIs.
Community Development Financial Institutions fall into four categories:
The genesis of the Community Development Financial Institution Fund was the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994. The reason for the fund's existence is to foster economic revitalization and community development.
The Small Business Administration has established the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Empowerment Contracting Program wherein they aim to provide federal contracting assistance to eligible small business corporations which are located in underutilized business zones so as to improve their employment opportunities, investments, and their area's economic development.
The The Minority Business Development Agency has recently constituted the Minority Business Enterprise Centers (MBEC) Program wherein it aims to support minority-owned businesses by providing them with electronic and one-on-one business development services for a reasonably nominal fee.
Kickstarter, the most popular online US-based crowdfunding platfrom, has announced plans to open an Irish website within months. It will be viewed as a rival to Fundit, one of the three crowdfunding platforms already based in Irish shores.