Asked Questions


If your question is not addressed here, we encourage you to send an email to Please allow between one and three business days for our staff to respond.


What Is Start Small Think Big?

  • Start Small Think Big is a nonprofit that helps small businesses with high potential and limited access to the resources needed to create thriving businesses. We connect small business owners to our network of volunteer professionals who provide free legal, finance, and marketing services.


How Much Does Start Small Think Big Cost?

  • Our services are free to eligible small business owners thanks to the generous support of our donors, corporate partners, and volunteers. This includes services provided by our staff and volunteers.


  • Our staff or our volunteers may recommend external resources which may impose additional fees. Please keep in mind that we do not cover any fees imposed by third parties, including state or federal entities. However, in these cases, we will discuss the value of any external resources to help you determine if they are worthwhile investments for your business.


  • Additionally, Start Small Think Big doesn’t take or require any equity in any of the small businesses we work with.


What Services Does Start Small Think Big Offer?

  • We provide limited business assistance across legal, finance, and marketing, see our What We Do page for more details. The services we provide are tailored specifically to meet the needs of each small business owner and are based on the business’ current stage of growth, long-term goals, and priority of needs.


Does Start Small Think Big Offer Loans, Grants, or Other Direct Financial Assistance?

  • We don’t lend to or invest in businesses and we don’t offer direct access to loans, grants, or other capital. However, we do help establish your financial systems and management infrastructure and help you build financial projections for your business - this could better position your business to obtain needed funding through loans, equity, or other forms of financial assistance.


Is It Possible for Start Small Think Big To Deny Me Services, Even If I Am Eligible For The Program?

  • As a nonprofit with limited resources and staff, there are times when we may not be able to deliver certain services. However, we’ll always do our best to support the small business owners in our program and to meet your needs.


My Business Needs Help Now! Can Your Help Me With My Emergency Situation Or Prioritize My Needs?

  • Many of our free services are provided through a volunteer matching system, ensuring we match you with the most knowledgeable person to address your business needs; therefore we rely on the time and availability of our volunteer professionals.


  • For that reason, while we always do our best to meet our small business owners’ needs, we can’t guarantee any specific timeline and it typically takes several weeks before we can fulfill a service request.


  • At times, we may refer you to another business or agency outside of Start Small Think Big that can provide urgent small business assistance.


Are My Interactions With Start Small Think Big Confidential?

  • All small business owners who receive services from Start Small Think Big sign a standard agreement guaranteeing the confidentiality of the information provided (subject to the terms of the agreement), which you can review in full (though not amend) before formally entering our program. Additionally, Start Small Think Big strives to protect any information provided by applicants, as described in our privacy policy.


  • We can assure you that Start Small Think Big has no interest in pursuing any ideas you may bring us and the entirety of our program is designed to support you as a business owner.


How Can I Receive Services From Start Small Think Big?


  • Upon submitting your application, our team will review and process your application within approximately five business days. Once your application is approved, you will be invited to schedule an onboarding meeting with our team.


I Don’t Think I’m Qualified But I Really Need Your Help. Is There Anything I Can Do?

  • To be fair and equitable to all applicants, we strictly adhere to our eligibility requirements.



Do I Have To Apply To Start Small Think Big?

  • Yes, you must apply and demonstrate that you and your business meet our eligibility requirements.


How Can I Apply to Start Small Think Big?

  • Review our eligibility requirements and apply on our website. Upon submitting your application, our team will review and process your application within approximately five business days. Once your application is approved, you will be invited to schedule an onboarding meeting with our team.


I Saved My Application But Now I Can’t Access It. What Can I Do?

  • Please email providing your full name, email address and describing your issue. Please allow between one and three business days for our staff to respond and send you a link to reopen your application.


I Can’t Go To The Next Page On The Application. What Can I Do?

  • Carefully review the page to make sure all required fields have been completed and be sure that numbers are formatted without commas.


I’ve Applied And Haven’t Heard Back From Anyone. What Can I Do?

  • Our staff works to process all applications within five business days. If you haven’t heard back after that, please check your email, including any spam folders, to ensure that you haven’t received an email from us. If that’s still the case, please email us at


  • Occasionally, our staff will need to verify information in your application, so you’ll need to be available by phone or email and respond promptly. Upon verifying any outstanding information, our staff will likely need more time to relay the information back to our Client Relationship Team, so please give us at least one additional week to process your application.


I’ve Heard Back And I’ve Been Invited To Attend A Service Assessment (Intake) Meeting With Start Small Think Big. What Should I Do Next?

  • Your acceptance letter describes how to book a Service Assessment (Intake) appointment. At this appointment, we’ll verify the information you reported on your application to confirm your eligibility and ask you questions to learn more about you and your business, so we can develop a tailored program of services.


I’ve Heard Back And It Looks Like I’m Not Eligible. Is There Anything I Can Do?

  • If you believe our Client Relationship Team’s assessment was incorrect and that you do meet our eligibility guidelines, please respond to your email and clearly explain your dispute and how you meet our eligibility requirements.



Do you work with Co-ops?

  • We believe it is important to support equitably-owned worker-cooperatives who provide business ownership opportunities to its employees.


    At this stage, we are only able to support:

    - Co-ops with five (5) or less business owners.

    - Co-ops with under $75,000 in investment shares.


    Note: All business owners must apply individually and be found eligible.

    *If you do not meet the above criteria but you believe your worker-cooperative is equitably-owned and should be considered for free services, please reach out to and provide additional information about the structure and finances of your cooperative.


Are there any business types that you are not able to support?

  • At this time, we are not equipped to support:

    - Non-profit organizations
    - Businesses located outside of the United States
    - Residential or commercial real estate businesses, including landlords
    - Financial services businesses that directly handle, invest, manage, or have access to a client's finances or assets
    - Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Businesses
    - Franchisees of large corporate entities
    - Co-ops with over 5 business partners (Note: services may be available on a case-by-case basis)
    - Businesses that raise FDA, ethical, or other concerns
    - Marijuana-based or marijuana-tangential businesses