Minority Small Business Grants for Business Start Up

Starting up a business can be pretty hard, especially when you need to find financial support. Therefore, it is understandable that people are looking for free money for their business, including minority small business grants for business start up. The big question is: is there such grant available in United States?

You may have heard or read about free money from the government for private businesses, and some may even charge you some dollars to get that information. Before you’re swayed by their marketing talk, we would like to give you the real information about this matter. Are you ready?


Minority Small Business Grants for Business Start Up Opportunities

First off, it is true that there are numerous grant programs coming from the government. The distribution of the funding goes to the state government, nonprofit organizations, community organizations, and individual. Grants for businesses are considered as an individual or personal grants. Unfortunately, most of (if not all of all of) the individual grants are available in the field of education. There are other indirect personal grants such as food stamps or health benefits such as medicare and Medicaid, but there are no currently available direct personal federal grants for business.

If you are a minority and are trying to make your first business there are other forms of financial aid available, but before we talk about this, let’s dig into what the government offers.

Rural Business Opportunity Grant

The Rural Business Development Grants serve as flexible resources for technical assistance, training, and various projects that enhance rural communities. While not specifically earmarked for minority-owned businesses, the USDA Rural Business Development Grant Program holds significance in rural areas where minority populations play a pivotal role in economic growth.

The USDA offers two grant types: Opportunity and Enterprise grants. These grants are useful for community improvement, feasibility studies, strategic planning, and leadership training. Furthermore, Enterprise grants expand their coverage to encompass activities such as training and technical assistance, rural distance learning, and land acquisition.

For businesses interested in applying for the USDA Rural Business Development Grant Program, certain eligibility criteria must be met. These include having 50 or fewer employees and gross revenue of less than $1 million. Additionally, businesses must operate in a designated eligible rural area. The application process for the USDA Rural Development Grant is facilitated through the local or state offices of the USDA Rural Development.

Small Business Administration Grant

This grant program is also an indirect grant program. The goal is to provide technical help, training and building business capacity of business owners, especially if the owners are from a minority community.

For example, The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) serves as a catalyst for the growth of minority business owners. The resources offered by NMSDC play a crucial role in enabling individuals of color to access contracts and generate new business opportunities. Thus, contributing to the reduction of the wealth gap.

Another example, SBA 8(a) Business Development Program does not provide grants to small business owners. Rather, it operates as a federal contracting assistance program, offering training and support to socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners. The program’s goal is to ensure these businesses have equitable access to contracting opportunities in the future.

State Grants

It’s true that there are no federal grants available for personal business owners. But there is still hope coming from your state government. Depending on which state you’re living on, you may be eligible for minority small business grants for business start up.

Usually, the administration of these grants starts from the Department of Economic Development or equivalent agency in each state. Although the programs are –in essence– quite similar, each state may have different program name and requirements.

Some state requires you to be the first-time owner of the business while other adds a requirement stating that the business should have been available for the last three years. Most have regulations on the income limit of the business, which is around $4 million annually.

For example, The First Nations Development Institute has been providing grants since 1993, distributing a total of 3,052 grants amounting to $64.7 million as of 2023. This funding has been instrumental in supporting various Native American projects and organizations across 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territory of American Samoa. Previous grants have included initiatives such as a Native Youth Business Plan competition.


There are several other notable non-government grant providers, but most are available in the form of grant competition.  For example, The Wish Local Empowerment Grant from Wish offers financial support to its small business partners. The grants, ranging from $500 to $2,000, are specifically for minority-owned businesses. The fund helps to cover expenses such as rent and inventory costs.

To qualify for these grants, eligible U.S. businesses must be black-owned. Also, they have no more than 20 employees, maintain an annual revenue under $1 million, and operate from a physical brick-and-mortar location. Grant applications are continuously reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.

Another option is the Yva Jourdan Foundation and HerSuite Spot. They have been collaborating to provide the HerRise micro-grants, offering monthly financial support of $1,000 to women of color entrepreneurs. These grants are available to assist women of color in launching or expanding their small businesses. The past recipients utilizing the funds for various purposes like equipment and marketing expenses.

To meet eligibility criteria, businesses must have a predominant ownership by women of color, constituting a minimum of 51%. Moreover, you must register your business as for-profit entities within the United States. You can submit your applications by the month’s end. Besides, the announcement of winners takes place at the HerSuiteSpot First Friday Mixer in the subsequent month. Some notable instances are the Georgia-Pacific grant and Amber Foundation Grant.


I hope you find this post helpful for your search for minority small business grants for business start up. For Muslims, we recommend you not to take the last option, such as loans. This is not allowed in your belief!


  • U.S. Small Business Administration – https://www.sba.gov/
  • United States Department of Agriculture – http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome
  • Image: allbusiness.com

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