Grants are basically free money, meaning that you don’t have to repay them. This is the most sought after form of financial assistance, especially for business owners. You may wonder about government grants for small businesses owned by minorities, and we’re here to provide the answer for you.
It is true that Federal government has numerous grant programs, which are used to help the people in United States who are in need. The grants are often provided for nonprofits and organizations. But there is still some hope to get financial assistance, especially if you are minority and are starting a small business. We’ve listed several possible sources for you below:
List of Government Grants for Small Businesses Owned by Minorities
Here are the available options of government grants for small business owned by minorities:
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is the sole federal agency focused on helping minority business enterprises grow and compete globally. On their website, you can find links to various grant programs aimed at supporting minority-owned businesses.
Small Business Administration Grant
The US Small Business Administration offers grants that is useful for training, technical help and build the capacity of your business. Special attention will be given to women and people from Indian tribe. The amount of money for the grant is somewhere between the $50,000 and $250,000.
Rural Business Opportunity Grant
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) through their Rural Business Opportunity Grant for minorities and people living in rural areas. Note that the fund is not available for starting up your business. Instead, the program will provide technical assistance, along with required trainings for eligible awardees. The maximum amount of money offered is $150,000.
Usually, there are programs aimed to support small businesses in each of the States. They may have different names, but in general they are administered by the Department of Economic Development or equivalent agency. For example, in Iowa there’s a $50,000 small business assistance grant. This program is for people from minorities, the disabled and women can apply.
There are additional requirements such as the business should have less than $4 million annual income and it has existed for at least 3 years. Of course, each of the states may have different policy about this. Therefore we highly recommend you to contact your state’s Department of Economic Development or Small Business Administration office.
Non-Government Grants for Small Business Owned by Minorities
Here are the available options if you are searching for government grants for small businesses owned by minorities:
Stacy’s Rise Project
Stacy’s Rise Project has been supporting women entrepreneurs since 2017, especially those who are women of color. Partnering with Hello Alice and Hello Sunshine, Stacy’s is now offering $15,000 grants to women who own businesses in the packaged food and beverage industry.
Winners not only get the cash prize but also mentorship from a PepsiCo executive, visibility on Stacy’s and its partners’ platforms, and connections with other women entrepreneurs. To qualify, you must:
- Be a woman entrepreneur or a woman entrepreneur of color
- Be the main leader (founder or co-founder) of your business.
- Run a for-profit business in the U.S. selling packaged consumer goods.
- Have annual sales between $25,000 and $1 million.
- Be at least 50% woman-founded or currently 50% woman-owned.
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is an annual grant program that’s dedicating a huge $14 million. The goal is to support small businesses owned by Black entrepreneurs in struggling communities.
There’s a focus on Black women-owned businesses, which should make up at least 25% of the grant recipients. The winners got $5,000 grants in October 2023. They can then apply for additional $25,000 grants the next summer.
SoGal Black Foundar Startup
The SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant, supported by various partners, gives out cash grants of $10,000 and $5,000 each year to Black women and Black nonbinary founders. Winners also get assistance with fundraising and technical support, along with direct access to the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams for advice.
To be eligible, you must:
- Identify as a Black woman or Black nonbinary entrepreneur, which includes multiracial individuals.
- Have a legally registered business.
- Plan to seek investor financing for growth, either now or in the future.
- Have a scalable and impactful business idea with the potential to become a billion-dollar enterprise.
EnrichHER Small Business Grant
The EnrichHER Small Business Grant offers $5,000 to entrepreneurs who are women or people of color. EnrichHER, a FinTech lender owned by a Black woman, has already provided $14 million to minority-owned businesses across 47 U.S. states. Recipients can use the money for various purposes. For example, rebranding, developing new products, or improving services.
The Comcast RISE Investment Fund
The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is a part of Comcast NBCUniversal’s plan to address injustice and inequality. As part of this initiative, they pledged $75 million in cash and $25 million in media over three years. The Investment Fund offers 500 grants of $10,000 each to businesses in five cities:
- Chicago, IL
- Miami, FL
- Oakland, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Washington, D.C.
Each city gets 100 grants. To qualify, your business must be at least 51% owned and operated by a person of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners. Additionally, all women entrepreneurs are eligible for this grant.
There are several grants from popular foundations in United States. The goal is to support the development of small business in the country. The Georgia-Pacific Grant is one of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs, which is for the people in the communities where it operates.
There’s also a grant coming from Amber Foundation. It provides range from $500 to $1,500 available for women, including the ones from minority community. There are also several grant competitions, such as The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants. Other sources are Dare to Dream Grant Program, and The Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition etc.
- Explore Loans, Grants & Funding – https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business/loans-grants-funding/grants
- Rural Business Opportunity Grant-Department of Agriculture-Business and Cooperative Programs – http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=102914
- Amber Grants for Women – https://ambergrantsforwomen.com/get-an-amber-grant/
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