A green business is involved in manufacturing products or providing services that are environmentally friendly. All business operations in such organizations are committed to follow eco-friendly principles so that the environment is not adversely affected. They aim to gain profit without compromising environmental concerns. To motivate entrepreneurs to start new businesses that are environmental friendly, green business grants are provided by many government and non-government organizations. These grants can vary from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars, depending on the business project and the organization granting it. Any business, big or small, which is based on an eco-friendly model, can apply for a green business grant.
Grants for Green Businesses
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Grant
The EPA or Environmental Protection Agency of the United Sates awards grants to small businesses which are based on the 'go-green' concept. These grants are awarded annually in the form of a two-year contract. Entrepreneurs with green business ideas submit their proposals to the agency, which then selects proposals that are eligible for grants. For a business to qualify for this grant, three criteria must be fulfilled. First, the business must be science and technology based. Second, it must be based in the U.S. and third, it must have less than 500 employees. Under the EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, new businesses are awarded grants in two phases. In the first phase, businesses are given $70,000 for a period of six months to carry out research. Once the research work is complete, businesses submit a new proposal to the EPA. In the second phase, EPA gives $225,000 to grant holders for two years.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Grant
Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Small Business Innovation Research program, small businesses with eco-friendly ideas, in the field of agriculture, are awarded grants in two phases. Businesses in the research phase receive grants up to $80,000 while the ones in the second phase receive up to $350,000 depending on the size of the project.
U.S. Department of Energy Grant
Entrepreneurs with green business ideas for energy use, energy production, environment management or nuclear nonproliferation, can qualify for grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. These are again awarded in two phases. Phase I and II grants are for feasibility study, and research and development respectively. The holder receives $100,000 for nine months in the first phase and the same amount over a two-year period in the second phase.
State and Local Grants
Small green businesses can also apply for grants that are awarded under the state government and local programs. Every state has its own set standards for businesses to qualify under these programs. The information regarding programs running in each state can be obtained from state government websites and business portals.
Community Conservation Enterprises Grant
Community Conservation Enterprises or CCE currently awards grants to small green businesses that are initiated in Central America and Mexico. These range from $500 to $2000. The CCE supports business which help in improving quality of life of local people by providing products or services that protect the environment and use natural resources religiously.
Other Green Business Grants
Many corporations and non-governmental institutions offer grants to businesses that want to take a step forward to protect the environment. For example, CBS, a media giant in the United States, offers grants to green business projects. Another company, Retensa, also motivates entrepreneurs to enter into eco-friendly businesses, by awarding many grants from time to time. Some public utility companies also help people who wish to start eco-friendly businesses or expand an already existing green business.
Everyone knows how fast natural resources of our planet are depleting. The negative impact of various industries in the world is a big cause of concern. To make businesses realize this fact, and motivate them to take measures to work towards a cleaner and greener environment, green business grants are awarded. This initiative not only benefits the business owner, but also mankind and our planet.