Frequently Asked Questions

Starting a business and looking for the right answers is a lot for one person. We’ve created a list of frequently asked questions about what we do, and how we can help you in your journey. If you ever have specific questions, please contact us anytime!

  • Your first step is to register & attend an Intro to GROW class. Register here.
  • Intro to GROW is a pre-requisite to all other GROW programs and services. Once you have attended, you will gain access to everything GROW has to offer. Click here to see what programs or services you would like to take advantage of.

  • To register for Intro to GROW, or any of our classes, please visit our events calendar. Seating is limited, register today!

  • No; while GROW’s mission is to empowering women, we do not We are committed to assisting ALL West Michigan entrepreneurs throughout their entire entrepreneurial journey.

  • At this time, GROW does not offer any scholarships to attend our classes. We do keep our pricing affordable, along with offering some free of charge, to ensure that most everyone can attend. We hope you will still consider attending our programs, as they are extremely beneficial to you and your business. Please visit our events calendar to see upcoming workshops and their pricing.

  • You will gain access to scheduling one-on-one business counseling sessions once you have attended Intro to GROW. During the class, you will be provided with the information needed to schedule your sessions. If you misplaced the information, e-mail us at info2@growbusiness.org or call our office at 616.458.3404.

  • Step 1: Attend Intro to GROW
  • Step 2: Schedule a meeting with one of our Business Development Officers (BDO) to discuss the area in which you need assistance. The BDO will assess the situation and determine the next steps which may include pairing you with a mentor. (Our mentors are volunteers with expertise in various fields; we will find the best match for you and your business.)

  • The first requirement to receive a microloan from GROW is to have attended our Intro to GROW class.
  • For additional information on the microloan requirements, please visit our Microlending page.

  • In order to begin the Microloan process, you must first attend Intro to GROW. Once you have attended, you will need to meet with one of our Business Development Officers to begin the application process. You can find additional information about our lending program along with the needed documents here.

  • The cost of our classes varies depending on the length of the class and the type of workshop. Visit our Workshops and Training page to find out more.

  • GROW does not offer any grants. Keep in mind that grants are generally awarded to non-profits, not typically “for-profits”.
  • We do caution you to beware of grant scams (i.e., Matthew Lesko, etc.)

  • GROW does not assist with grant writing; however, below is a list of potential grant opportunities. Note that each grant has specific requirements, and should be researched thoroughly to determine your business’ eligibility.
    1. Eileen Fisher Grant: Awards 5 grants annually to businesses who are 100% woman-owned, in operation for a minimum of 3 years, and who focus on social and environmental issues.
    2. Idea Café: Gateway that hosts various grants on its site. No restrictions on time in business or industry.
    3. InnovateHER SBA Grant: Product or service must have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, have the potential for commercialization and fill a need in the marketplace.
    4. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Award-based program incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential.
    5. Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR): Funding opportunities for research and development.
  • Read the truth about grants here.

  • GROW does not offer childcare.