One of the great sources of funding for the entrepreneurial class in both the private and public sector has been through federally-funded grants. The grants spur research and development in areas as different as preventing friendly-fire incidents on the battlefield and helping address infant heart disease.
In this time of tight credit and wary investors, federal grants can provide the seed money to help get new businesspeople from the drawing board to the board room. They can also help expand existing programs and businesses by allowing them to hire new researchers or employees or to launch that new idea.
To help those ambitious folk here in Missouri, Sen. Claire McCaskill held a grant-writing workshop today in Columbia, Mo. Representatives from a dozen or more agencies were to be on-hand to help the hopeful craft their proposal.
Anecdotally, Talking Points Memo managing editor David Kurtz (who is based here in Missouri) wrote that his wife was going to attend, but after seeing the crowd of people, decided against it.