Did you know that immigrants are eligible to get various opportunities from the government as well as other non-profit organizations? If you have no idea about it, then go through this article as it contains details about grants for immigrants to start a business!
The best part about the U.S.A. government is that they offer more opportunities to start their own business to immigrants with nothing compared to those born in the United States. Amazing, right?
According to various statistics, 48% of U.S. business ownership is attributed to immigrant business owners. Combining this with the percentage of self-employed immigrants makes it evident that they are a crucial aspect of the economy. Well, do you know how all this is possible? Luckily, several resources and grants are available for immigrants to start a business without them facing many complications and hassles.
Best Business grants for immigrants –
Many immigrant entrepreneurs discover that cultural biases and language barriers often hinder them from easily accessing business financing opportunities. However, fortunately, there are organizations that acknowledge these kinds of unique challenges of finding small business loans for immigrants.
Additionally, many lenders are beginning to tailor their loan products to better meet those needs.
S.B.A. loans –
Being a Federal Government agency, the Small Business Administration (S.B.A.) supports and caters to small businesses in every way. From uniting them with necessary resources to offering them the much-needed assistance, S.B.A. ensures that small businesses generate the maximum profit to their potential. And, along with backup loans issued through their loan partners to help lower rates, they also assist small business owners in unique situations qualify for financing.
This includes immigrant small business loan options in the form of S.B.A. loans:
- For non-permanent legal citizens: Although it is a government agency, the S.B.A. gives small business loans to immigrants who are not U.S. citizens. The main requirement is that non-citizen borrowers must be legally in-country, holding “an appropriate work visa” with a current date.
- For naturalized citizens: If you are a naturalized citizen, you will not be subject to any kind of special restrictions or requirements for your S.B.A. loan application. Just remember to record it on your S.B.A. Form 1919.
- For asylees and refugees: Immigrants who have applied for asylum and refugee status can apply for the S.B.A. loan as long as they have legal permanent resident status.
Regardless of your state, you should expect the S.B.A. to thoroughly inspect your documentation, both your immigration documents and many other necessary documents.
Also, keep in mind that S.B.A. loans are the most paper-intensive loans out there in the U.S.A. Therefore, the application process demands a considerable time period that can often be long and arduous. Also, your credit score and business history play an important role in the approval process.
With that said, the process pays off if you have time. They offer some of the absolute lowest rates and the longest repayment terms available. Also, the resources the S.B.A. can connect you with as an immigrant entrepreneur could be invaluable to you.
Government grants –
Apart from the S.B.A. loans, there are several other grants for immigrants to start a business on their own.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement offers two programs, called the Wilson-Fish Program and the Microenterprise Development Program, for establishing a business. Both these assistance programs offer financial assistance to refugees that are worth considering.
For non-refugees, many government grants are available on the Government website (Grants.gov), where you can check which one satisfies your needs and requirements. Make sure that if you are applying for a grant, fill all the required details in the application form. Thousands of people apply for these grants every year; hence the competition for grants is fierce.
Friends and family –
The most common practice for people in many cultures across the world is to pool resources to help finance the businesses of friends and family. The same applies when you are in the United States!
In case you feel comfortable doing it, ask your friends and family if they will help finance your business. With your financial support, you can launch your business, and hopefully, it will become profitable.
Business credit cards –
When you use your commercial credit cards wisely, avoiding the accumulation of debt, it can help provide the best and most efficient short-term financing needed to run your business. If you have a strong credit rating, you shouldn’t have much trouble getting approval.
Also, before that, consider looking for a card that offers an introductory period with no interest, so get some time to earn the funds you need to make your payments on time.
Successful crowdfunding campaigns can be an option for you to strongly start your business. Moreover, there are chances that you can get a start that is larger than you have anticipated.
However, you don’t necessarily have to expect to win as sometimes things don’t work out as they are planned!
Micro-loans or short-term commercial loans –
Even if you have a stellar financial history, your lack of immigrant credit history can make obtaining traditional loans difficult. But, short-term loans or microloans can be an ideal interim measure in this case. Since these loans are a lot less risky for the lender to give, they have less forceful application requirements.
The bottom line –
One thing that you have to keep in mind while searching for grants for immigrants to start a business is – weigh your options!
Unfortunately, because of various reasons, obtaining financing as an immigrant can be difficult. Not to mention, you’re prone to face more paperwork compared to the native applicants. Still, the good thing is that several organizations offer a helping hand to immigrant entrepreneurs. This can be obliging for an easy and successful business venture.
By exploring each of the options mentioned above and understanding the differences between them, you will ensure that you choose the best for your business!