Free financial advice during Houston Money Week

April 9, 2012 5:37:54 PM PDT
It's Money Week in Houston, and while you will not find an envelope stuffed with cash in your mail box, you can learn to get financially fit for free.

The weeklong event features budgeting advice and credit restoration tips, but it also has something for small business owners, or those who want to start one.

Money Week has been going on every year since 2008. One of the big draws for small business owners, or those hoping to start their own business, is that this week they can find free grant writing sessions and tips for creating your own job.

If you are looking to start a small business, you can face big obstacles like getting funding.

Donald Bowers, Assistant Vice President of the Federal Reserve's Houston Branch, explained, "It's much more than saying 'I have an idea.' It is how do you communicate that idea and put it down on paper."

Bowers says there is money available, and it can be thousands of dollars, but entrepreneurs need to know how to find it. That is why Houston Money Week includes sessions on grant writing.

"Knowing who the right resources are as far as those offering grants opportunities and then knowing how to write and tailor a grant to that entity and how to produce results," Bowers said.

Bowers says those with grant money to offer are the ones teaching classes this week. Housing and Urban Development Field Officer Edward Pringle is helping coordinate those classes.

He said, "HUD is a catalyst for this particular grant writing. There are many types of funding available in our community and from the federal government and from other sources. This course teaches them how to look for those fundings."

Pringle says those hoping to get grant money need to show how the money will help the community. Often non-profits get grant money, but not always.

"To give you an example, a child care facility -- HUD may not have that type of funding, but there may be funding in other federal agencies. But the training we give you will enable you to get there and go find those funds," Pringle said.

The courses are free, but space is limited so you have to register. There are personal finance sessions, tips for getting college funding and many other things you can learn from, and all of it is free.

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