Despite what you might have heard about the availability of funding for businesses from the federal government, small businesses are rarely eligible for federal grant funding. The limited funding that is available is severely restricted and difficult to get. Certain businesses, especially those in high-tech fields and research and development, might be able to find federal government small business grants easily.
Head over to Grants.gov to find the searchable database of grants currently available from various agencies. The search functionality lets you search specifically for “small business” to find grants that are open to small businesses. The Grants Learning Center includes a Grants 101 page and a listing of all the grant-making agencies.
In addition to federal grants, federal agencies and other organizations host a variety of contests — called challenges — that offer prize money for innovative solutions and ideas. You can search for these at Challenge.gov.