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11 Low- Or No-Cost Programs For Business Growth

Access provided to experts, capital, other funding

Programs for business growth
Insider
Vice President of Marketing

You've likely heard that more than half of new small businesses don't make it past the first five years. It's a startling truth for many entrepreneurs, but it doesn't have to be your reality.

There are many ways to grow your mortgage business without being part of that statistic.

Sustaining a small business means keeping certain priorities top of mind, like cash flow, your target market’s wants and needs, expanding your team, and having a realistic growth strategy (as well as complying with all mortgage laws and regulations).

At SCORE, our mission is to foster vibrant small business communities, and we want to make sure every business owner has the support they need to be successful.

This goal is not ours alone.

There are other organizations that also believe in seeing every small business owner thrive. Just like us, they’re ready to help you grow your business — even if you're on a budget.

Whether you're hiring loan originators or expanding to a new location, there is help available every step of the way.

With the right support, you can make it far beyond the five-year mark. You don’t need to figure it all out alone — the programs and organizations listed here are committed to your ongoing success.

The keys to a successful business are now in your hands.

Whether you want to grow fast or slow, you have lots of support ahead.

Many business owners don’t know about the free or low-cost resources available to help them succeed. Share this article with a fellow business owner and help them thrive on their journey, too!

Candice Stennett, Vice President of Marketing, SCORE   

Low- or no-cost programs

Resources for Small Business Growth

01 

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

As a program participant, you gain practical knowledge through one-on-one advice from industry professionals alongside support in developing a customized plan for growth, for free. You also get access to a supportive network of more than 14,000 business owners, just like you.

To qualify, you must be an established entrepreneur with revenue over $75,000 in the most recent fiscal year.

The program is at no cost to you, but you must apply to the program. Learn more at 10ksbapply.com

02 

SBA T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined

This initiative from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) features online tools and training for growth.

This program is designed for small business owners and executives with an annual revenue of at least $250,000. You receive mentoring, in-person coaching, access to subject matter experts, and more.

There is no cost to join. Learn more about the training series and find a location near you at SBA.gov

03 

U.S. Black Chamber’s Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Program

This program by the U.S. Black Chamber provides resources, networking, and support for small business owners across the United States.

It’s designed for Black entrepreneurs who want business consulting and capital. Your participation gives you access to a network focused on empowerment, growth, and advocacy.

Membership fees may apply. Learn more at usblackchambers.org/advancing-black-entrepreneurs


Small Business Grants and Funding Opportunities

04 

Hello Alice Small Business Grants

This platform is great for business owners needing guidance and support to grow their businesses in a sustainable way. You get a Business Health Score assessment, access to capital, and grant opportunities.

Small business owners can also find funding opportunities, resources, and support.

There is no fee to apply for grants. Discover how a small business grant can help you at helloalice.com

05 

Grants.gov

If you’re looking for federal grants to support growth, research, development, and more, visit grants.gov.

This database is great for businesses wanting to learn more about federal grant opportunities.

Grants.gov provides you with grant writing tips, a learning center, and a variety of grant programs.

There is no fee to apply. Explore grants today. Grants.gov

06 

FDIC Money Smart For Small Businesses

This financial education program helps small business owners improve their financial education.

You’re an ideal candidate for this program if you’re an aspiring or existing entrepreneur who needs support to start or manage your business. You get online courses and resources to improve financial literacy and decision-making skills.

There is no cost to take part. Access the online courses for free at fdic.gov/resources

07 

iFundWomen Grants & Programs

This coaching and funding platform offers women entrepreneurs grants from crowdfunding and corporate partners, like Visa, American Express, Adidas and more.

This resource is designed specifically for women-owned businesses to take their skills to the next level. You get access to grant applications, a community of supporters, potential investors, and resources.

There is no fee to apply for grants. Coaching and resources are available for a monthly or annual fee. Explore grants and get personalized coaching at ifundwomen.com


Small Business Support Organizations

08 

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

SBDCs are a nationwide network of centers offering counseling, training, and resources to small businesses across the U.S.

The SBDC is a good fit for entrepreneurs starting or growing their businesses in a sustainable way. You get access to capital and guidance on business planning, operations, financial management and more.

Resources are free or low-cost. Find your local SBDC today at americassbdc.org

09 

Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center

This platform is perfect for business owners needing mentorship, training, and community. You get a global network of mentors, free classes, and access to a community of business leaders. You can also access educational resources and events to help you grow and scale your business.

There are both free and paid programs. Discover upcoming events and programs at thecenter.nasdaq.org

10 

Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)

A women-led community space with free training, counseling, and resources.

This is a great resource for women-owned businesses ready to start or grow their operations. You get access to business development resources, workshops, one-on-one support, and networking opportunities.

Programs are free or low-cost. Learn more on the WBDC website wbdc.org/en

11 

SCORE Mentoring, Workshops, Business Roundtables, Online Resources

At SCORE, we offer online and in-person mentoring and education to small business owners across the United States.

This is an ideal fit for entrepreneurs running, growing, selling, or exiting their businesses. SCORE is also an excellent resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and startups ready to move their businesses forward. You get access to workshops and practical insights from experienced business owners.

There is no fee to join. Connect with a mentor in your area today. score.org/find-mentor

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine December 2023 issue.
About the author
Insider
Vice President of Marketing
Candice Stennett is vice president of marketing at SCORE. This blog post originally appeared at SCORE.org.
Published on
Dec 01, 2023
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