It is important to acknowledge up front that funding a start-up can be difficult. Before you have sales and cash flow, you will need cash resources that are sometimes difficult to obtain. Your capital access plan (i.e., what cash you need, when and how you will get it, and how you will allocate it) is an extremely important first step. No-cost business advisory services through Small Business Development Centers, economic development offices and multiple other entities are available to help you create this plan. Multiple lenders, investors and grant opportunities are also available. Focusing on this planning early on will help ensure financial health throughout your business endeavor. The following resources are a good starting point, but check back with them regularly as funding streams and opportunities change regularly and quickly.

Getting over the hurdles of financing and successfully traversing the phases of business development better position your energy-related business for success – and give you the tools that can help overcome unexpected challenges that threaten your business. Data shows that 69 percent of new firms survive at least two years, 51 percent survive at least five years, and 49 percent of new businesses survive for five or more years. Over the longer term, 34 percent of new businesses survive 10 or more years, and 26 percent are still in business at the 15 year mark.

Federal programs, grants and incentives

State programs, grants and incentives

Ohio utility-based programs

Other resources

To find additional incentives, programs and technical resources, see Appendix B in our "Energy & Efficiency Business Startup Guide" here.

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