Small Business Grants In South Carolina

Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by Lori Pace

Are you a small business owner in South Carolina looking for financial support to start or expand your venture? Look no further! South Carolina offers a variety of grant opportunities specifically tailored to help small business owners like yourself. These grants provided by both state and federal agencies can be used for various purposes, such as starting a new business or expanding an existing one.

The state of South Carolina has several grant programs designed to support small businesses in different industries, regions, and stages of development. For example, the SCRA Innovation Programs and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) program are all state-funded grants that offer targeted support to entrepreneurs. Additionally, federal programs like the SBIR and STTR programs encourage research and development with commercial potential.

It’s important to check with local and regional economic development organizations to explore specific grant opportunities in South Carolina. These grant programs can provide valuable financial support and resources to help your small business thrive in the state.

So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to secure funding for your business – explore the small business grants available in South Carolina today! 

South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) Innovation Programs

The SCRA’s Innovation Programs in South Carolina offer exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and researchers to collaborate and drive innovation in the state. These programs provide funding, resources, and support for technology-based startups and research institutions. Through the SCRA’s Innovation Centers, entrepreneurs can access funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

The SCRA’s SC Launch program provides grants and investments to early-stage technology companies. This grant offers various financial assistance to secure seed, follow-on, and supplemental capital funding. You can use the grant money for your business research and development projects with commercial potential. These programs are crucial in fostering innovation and economic growth in South Carolina. 

Minority Business Accelerator

Maximize your potential and accelerate the growth of your minority-owned enterprise through the transformative opportunities offered by the Minority Business Accelerator.

This program is designed to provide targeted support and resources to minority-owned businesses in South Carolina, helping them overcome barriers and achieve long-term success.

Through the Minority Business Accelerator, you can access valuable networking opportunities, mentorship programs, and business development resources.

This program aims to create a supportive ecosystem that fosters growth and innovation, empowering minority entrepreneurs to thrive in the competitive business landscape.

By participating in the Minority Business Accelerator, you can tap into a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and connections that can propel your business forward. 

South Carolina Community Loan Fund

The South Carolina Community Loan Fund is a non-profit community development financial institution or CDFI. This organization offers various valuable services and opportunities to support your small business journey.

For one, the program provides loans and financial assistance to small businesses in the state. Whether you need funds to start a new business, expand your existing one, or invest in equipment and inventory, this organization can help you secure the necessary capital. They offer competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms to make borrowing more accessible for entrepreneurs like you.

In addition to financial support, the South Carolina Community Loan Fund also offers valuable technical assistance to help you navigate the challenges of running a small business. They provide business planning, marketing, financial management, and more guidance and resources. With their expertise and support, you can strengthen your business operations and make informed decisions for long-term success. 

Women’s Business Center of Columbia SC

The Women’s Business Center of Columbia is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs in South Carolina by providing them with the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to succeed. The center is focused on supporting female entrepreneurs, regardless of race, to thrive and succeed in business. 

Whether you are just starting out or looking to grow your existing business, the center offers a wide range of services to meet your needs. From business coaching and mentoring to workshops and networking events, they have everything you need to thrive in the business world.

Additionally, the center offers access to capital through loans and grants specifically designed for women-owned businesses. Their team of experts is ready to guide you through the process and help you secure the funding you need to take your business to the next level.


Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG)

The Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG) provide essential funding opportunities for entrepreneurs in rural areas of South Carolina to grow and expand their businesses. These grants aim to support the economic development of rural communities by providing financial assistance for various needs.

Through the initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the RBDG program offers grants that can be used for various purposes, such as purchasing equipment, renovating facilities, or expanding operations. This financial support can help rural businesses overcome financial barriers and access the capital they need to thrive.

In addition to funding, the RBDG program provides technical assistance and training to help rural entrepreneurs develop their business skills and knowledge. This support can range from business planning and marketing strategies to financial management and operational efficiency.

By funding and supporting rural businesses, the RBDG program provides opportunities for new job creation and retaining existing ones. This benefits individual businesses and contributes to the overall economic growth and stability of rural communities. 

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grants

Under the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants offer a range of funding opportunities to support the growth and development of businesses in rural areas of South Carolina.

These grants aim to stimulate economic activity, create jobs, and enhance the competitiveness of rural communities.

The EDA grants can be used for various purposes, including infrastructure development, workforce training, business expansion, and innovation initiatives.

By providing financial assistance, the EDA grants help businesses in rural South Carolina overcome challenges and seize opportunities for growth. 

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

If you’re a small business owner in rural areas of South Carolina, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program can be a valuable opportunity for you to access funding and support for your innovative ideas and research projects.

Through the SBIR Program, you can receive grants to conduct research and development with commercial potential. This program aims to encourage small businesses to engage in cutting-edge research and technology development, and it provides funding in various phases, from feasibility studies to prototype development.

By participating in the SBIR Program, you can receive financial assistance and access to valuable resources, technical expertise, and potential partnerships.

This program is a great way to fuel innovation, drive economic growth, and bring your groundbreaking ideas to life. So, if you’re a small business owner in rural South Carolina, don’t miss out on the opportunity to leverage the SBIR Program to take your business to new heights 

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program offers an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs in South Carolina to collaborate with research institutions and drive innovation in their industries. Small businesses can partner with universities, federal research labs, and other non-profit research institutions through this program to develop and commercialize cutting-edge technologies.

The STTR program provides funding to support the research and development of innovative products or services, aiming to bring these technologies to the market. By fostering collaboration between small businesses and research institutions, the STTR program helps to bridge the gap between scientific discovery and commercialization.

This program provides financial support and valuable resources and expertise that can help small businesses succeed. With the STTR program, entrepreneurs in South Carolina can access the knowledge and resources of research institutions to fuel their innovation and drive economic growth in the state. 

Eligibility Requirements for Small Business Grants in South Carolina

To be eligible for grant funding in South Carolina, businesses must meet specific criteria set by the funding organization/agency, such as industry focus, location, and business stage. Here are some key eligibility requirements for small business grants in South Carolina:

Industry Focus

Grant programs in South Carolina may target specific industries, such as agriculture, manufacturing, technology, or tourism. Each grant program may have its own set of eligibility criteria based on the industry it supports.


Grant eligibility may be limited to businesses located in South Carolina. Some grants may also have geographic distribution requirements, prioritizing funding for businesses in rural areas or specific regions of the state.

Business Stage

Grant programs may be available for different stages of business development, including start-up, expansion, marketing, and research and development. Some grants may prioritize funding for women- and minority-owned businesses or businesses in specific stages of growth.

South Carolina Residency

Some grant programs may require businesses to be majority-owned by South Carolina residents to be eligible for funding.

It’s important for businesses to carefully review the eligibility requirements of each grant program and ensure that they meet the specified criteria before applying. 

Application Guidelines for Small Business Grants in South Carolina

Get ready to seize your opportunity and make your dreams a reality by following these application guidelines for securing valuable funding and support for your small business in South Carolina.

When applying for small business grants in South Carolina, it’s important to carefully read and follow the application guidelines provided by the granting organization or agency. These guidelines will outline the specific requirements and documents needed for the application process.

It’s crucial to provide detailed information about your business, including your business plan, financial statements, and any supporting documents demonstrating the need for funding. Additionally, be sure to meet any eligibility criteria outlined in the application guidelines, such as being a South Carolina resident or operating a business in a specific industry or region.

By following these application guidelines, you can increase your chances of securing a small business grant in South Carolina and take a step closer to achieving success. 

How to Find the Right Grants for Your Business

Discover the perfect funding opportunity for your business by exploring a treasure trove of grants that will lead you on a path to success.

When it comes to finding the right grants for your business in South Carolina, various resources and organizations can help. Start by checking out statewide programs and initiatives that are designed to support new and existing businesses in South Carolina. These programs often offer grants as part of their funding options.

Additionally, consider exploring specific sectors or industries with grant opportunities tailored to their needs, such as agriculture, manufacturing, technology, or tourism. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Technology Alliance, and Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism are just a few organizations offering grants for businesses in these sectors.

Don’t forget to also look into grants specifically for women- and minority-owned businesses and those targeting rural areas. The South Carolina Small Business Development Center and rural business grant programs can be valuable resources in this regard.

By researching and tapping into these various grant opportunities, you can find the perfect funding source to help your business thrive in South Carolina. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any specific grants available for minority-owned businesses in South Carolina?

Yes, there are specific grants available for minority-owned businesses in South Carolina. The South Carolina Small Business Development Center offers grants specifically for women- and minority-owned businesses. These grants can be used for various purposes, such as start-up, expansion, and marketing.

What types of businesses are eligible for Rural Business Development Grants in South Carolina?

To be eligible for rural business development grants in South Carolina, your business must be located in a rural area. These grants can be used for start-ups, expansion, marketing, research, and development.

How to qualify for small business grants in South Carolina?

To be eligible for small business grants in South Carolina, you must be located in South Carolina and be a South Carolina resident. Specific grants are also available for women- and minority-owned businesses, rural businesses, and specific industries. 


In conclusion, South Carolina offers many small business grants that can provide entrepreneurs with valuable financial support and resources. These grants and business loan programs offered by both state and federal governments can be used for various purposes, such as starting a new business or expanding an existing one.

Finding the right grants for your business may require some research, but the opportunities are out there. Local and regional grants in South Carolina target specific industries or demographic groups, ensuring that there are options available for businesses in various sectors. So, take advantage of these resources and pursue the grants that align with your business goals.

Overall, South Carolina’s grant programs offer a valuable lifeline for small businesses, providing them with the support and funding they need to thrive and contribute to the state’s economy. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, these grants can help you advance your venture. So, don’t hesitate to explore the grant opportunities available and make the most of the resources at your disposal

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!