A very popular question at the Business Center is how to get financing for a business start-up. Despite what you’ve heard about the promise of “free money,” obtaining funding for your small business is not easy.
The good news is that small business ownership is encouraged by many government and private organizations because of its positive effect on communities and the nation as a whole. This is why many of these organizations provide funding or funding assistance to the potential or established entrepreneur.
Funding opportunities come from a wide variety of places, such as personal credit, family members, angel investors, state government agencies, and of course, bank loans. The following guide was created to help guide you to a wide range of local funding resources.
State supported agencies are one of the greatest resources offering numerous opportunities for the potential as well as established entrepreneur. Many of agencies offer minorities and women funding.
This site is Maryland's Business and Economic Development resource Web site. USE this as a portal to many of the business funding and support programs the state offers.
State of Maryland Governor's Office of Minority Affairs
This resource is for minorities and women-owned business. The Office of Minority Affairs oversees other state agencies involved in minority and women issues in an effort to assist all related small business activities. Among the offerings is assistance in finding financing for your company.
Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF)
The (MEDAAF) offers assistance to the business community in the form of business loans to qualifying industries located in appointed political jurisdictions throughout the state of Maryland. The Web site can help determine if your business qualifies for a loan.
eMaryland Marketplace: Small Business Reserve Program
This program is designed to allow small businesses to bid for state contracts without competing with larger, more established companies. Keep in mind this program does not finance your business, but promotes opportunities for small businesses with limited funds to compete in the market for state contracts.
Maryland Dept of Transportation (MDOT): Minority Business Enterprise Program
Through a rigorous certification process, the MDOT affords minorities, women, and the disabled bidding opportunities for state contracts associated with the Maryland Transit Administration, State Highway Administration, and the Maryland Aviation Administration.
Maryland Small Business Development Center (MSBDC)
This government sponsored agency, in association with the US Small Business Administration, offers many resources for the entrepreneur, including financing. Access this site for information on business loans and consultation.
Maryland Dept of Housing and Community Development
You will find among the many programs sponsored by this department those that provide financial assistance and tax services to small businesses, particularly for entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a business in challenged communities.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley ~ Governor's Grants Office
The Governor’s Office offers limited assistance to small businesses by helping contractors identify state and federal grant opportunities. This program is not for those looking for start-up funding, but those already in business.
Neighborhood Businessworks (NBW)
This is the state’s premiere small business loan program providing competitively-priced, flexible financing for the costs associated with business start-up and expansion.
Business Organizations, such as SCORE, are invaluable resources to use because their mission is to encourage entrepreneurship and their staffs have decades of business experience to share.
MIT Enterprise Forum
MIT is a non-profit organization which supports new technology-oriented companies by providing information, including financing, needed for them to grow and prosper.
SCORE is a national organization and resource partner with the Small Business Administration who specializes in assisting the entrepreneur with all levels of starting a business, including obtaining funding. You won’t find actual funding opportunities here, but will find the right assistance in how to obtain it.
Angel Investor Network
Angel investing has long been an important source of financial support and mentoring for new and growing businesses bridging the gap between individual (friends and family) and institutional venture capital rounds of financing. Use this site to find the connections you need to finance your business.
The Federal Government does its share to provide assistance for small businesses. This is mainly done through the Small Business Administration. Funding opportunities primarily come from this agency.
SBA - Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns. This includes providing counseling and financial assistance to small businesses.
Patriot Express - Small Business Administration
This is a special leg of the SBA that offers financing and other resources for veterans interested in starting a business.
SBA - How To Fund a Business
Read this series of FAQs posted by the SBA for specific details on funding a business.
Business.gov - Official Business Link to the U.S. Government
Business.gov is the official business link to the U.S. Government and is managed by the (SBA) in a partnership with twenty-one other federal agencies associated with business and economic development.
If you need more assistance finding resources or books about funding your business, please e-mail us, call (410) 396-5317, or contact us by mail:
Business, Science, and Technology Department
Enoch Pratt Free Library
Central Library/State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201