Small Business Grants For Immigrants

Small business grants for immigrants will certainly help these people to start their business. These people are relatively new on US soil, and some may be able to land a proper job while others prefer to start their own business for various reasons.

However, starting a small business in the United States is not an easy task. Usually, it requires quite a lot of capital capabilities, while a large portion of the immigrants are not that rich. On the other hands getting a loan from banks and credit institutions is also hard. Therefore, some may look for financial assistance to help them start their small business.


List of Small Business Grants For Immigrants

We’ve listed several options for people who are looking for small business financial assistance for immigrants.

Refugee and Entrant Assistance: Discretionary Grants

While this is not a direct grant for small business for immigrants, the grant can help these people to be accustomed to the financial management. In general, immigrants from Asian, Haiti, and Cuba countries are eligible. No documentation is required for this program. Each state’s Department of Health and Human Services distributes the grant to nonprofit agencies. More information is available through the department.

Business Development Grants

The Business Development Grant program is a great source for free technical assistance, business training, and in some cases it can even help you to gain access to financial assistance. However, to be qualified for the program the immigrant should already have a small business with good viability and character. Immigrants from Africa, Asia and Hispanic descendants are known to get the grant.

Refugee and Entrant Assistance: Wilson/Fish Program

It’s another program from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services to provide various assistance for immigrants. It is important to note that immigrants should be able to show his or her immigration status credentials to be eligible for the assistance.

As we have said earlier, the program funds various aspects, and one of them comes in the form of cash assistance for eight months. While this may not be the perfect small business financial assistance for immigrants, it can certainly help those who want to start their small business by covering a portion of the expense. That way, you can allocate the saved money to start the business. In general, the program is available for people from Cuba, Haiti and Asia; but some exceptions have been given for immigrants from Afghanistan and Iraq.

As you can see, there are several grants available from the federal government administered by the state government. If you have documented your immigration then you should immediately visit the Department of Health and Human Services to see a social worker and then they will give you valuable information about programs that may help you; which may include grants.

Microenterprise Development Program

The Microenterprise Development program is designed to support refugees in establishing, sustaining, and growing their businesses. Through this program, refugees receive assistance aimed at achieving financial independence and acquiring the skills necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs. Participants learn essential aspects of entrepreneurship, including business plan development, business management, bookkeeping, and marketing strategies to effectively promote their businesses.

Under the Macroeconomic Development program, participants have access to short-term training sessions or technical assistance for their businesses, along with micro-loan credit of up to $15,000. Additionally, the program offers culturally and linguistically appropriate training to ensure accessibility and effectiveness. To determine eligibility for the Microenterprise Development program, please review the eligibility requirements.


PRIME, the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs, is a federal program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). It provides four types of federal grants aimed at supporting organizations that assist low-income entrepreneurs. The primary goal of PRIME is to empower individuals with limited training or education to enhance the financial viability of their small businesses. Eligibility for PRIME grants may extend to both private and nonprofit organizations, although specific criteria vary.


The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is a federal agency dedicated to fostering the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses (MBEs). The MBDA facilitates connections between MBEs and financial institutions such as banks, investors, and mutual funds, ensuring access to capital for these businesses. Moreover, the agency generates and disseminates information about MBEs, thereby enhancing their visibility and attracting contracts. In the fiscal year 2019 alone, the MBDA assisted in securing contracts worth $3.1 billion for MBEs, enabling them to access high-growth markets.

For further information on the MBDA’s programs and the specific centers available in your area, please visit the provided page.


In addition to federally administered programs supporting minority businesses, several state-run initiatives also exist. The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) annually publishes a list of grants, which can be accessed here, showcasing the latest grants and their funding breakdown.

To discover more about minority business grants provided by state governments, you can explore This platform offers an extensive compilation of grants available across the United States. You can tailor your search criteria to suit your business requirements. For instance, if you operate a minority-run business in Florida, you can input “minority” and “Florida” into the “Keyword(s)” section and specify the “Funding Instrument Type” and “Eligibility” filters.

Other Assistance

This has less strict requirements and they often prefer applicants from socially challenged circumstances –which include immigrants– and those who are facing financial problems. Hopefully, you can see that there are more than just small business grants for immigrants offered here in the US.

FAQ – Small Business Grants for Immigrants

Can immigrants get money grant to start a business?

Yes, immigrant business owners do not automatically receive money to start a business. Like other entrepreneurs, they must meet eligibility criteria and apply for funding through various programs to secure financing for their small business ventures. There are several resources available, such as government grants, loans, and entrepreneurial support programs, that immigrants can explore to access funding for starting or growing their businesses. However, the process typically involves applying for funding and meeting specific requirements set by the funding source.

How to get money to start a business?

To obtain “free money” to start a business, consider exploring small business grant opportunities. These grants, offered at both the federal and state levels, can provide funding without the need for repayment. Whether you are an immigrant entrepreneur or part of a minority group, there are grant programs available to support your business endeavors.

Start by researching grant opportunities offered by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private foundations. Be sure to review eligibility requirements and application guidelines carefully to increase your chances of securing funding for your business. Additionally, consider seeking assistance from Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) or local business associations for guidance on finding and applying for grants.


  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services –
  • Health Resources and Services Administration –
  • U.S. Small Business Administration –
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