An influx of capital, especially in the beginning months of a new business, is vital. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs in minority and underrepresented communities still encounter systematic disadvantages when it comes to access to resources and obtaining capital for their venture. As such, unbiased assistance for small businesses owners can seem impossible to find. But luckily, small business startup grants for minorities are a wonderful way to obtain money when loans aren’t an option.
In order to qualify as a minority-owned small business, a business must be at least 51% minority owned or operated by someone who’s at least 25% Asian, Black, Hispanic, or Native American. It’s easy for people to start large with well-known public institutions like Grants.gov, but when it comes to free business grants for minorities, the best options are often local. So, don’t forget to look to your local minority organizations and chambers of commerce. You can find even useful information in publications like the Minority Business Entrepreneur magazine and Latin Business Today.
Other small business startup grants for minorities include government non-profit resources like the popular Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The MBDA is committed to diversifying the economy by providing minority-owned businesses information on web seminars, an event calendar, business research, and contract opportunities. The Native American Business Development Institute offers grants to those who are part of an Indian tribe or Alaska Native village in order to promote business growth and spur economic progress in the Native American community. They hear proposals from various Native American tribes to determine their long-term feasibility. If a project is worth pursuing, they provide marketing training and financial support.
The U.S. Black Chambers is another excellent resource. They’ve developed 5 pillars of service: advocacy, access to capital, contracting, entrepreneurial training, and chamber development for black business owners. Their website offers a plethora of resources, from various programs and events to statistics and news about national black-owned businesses. While they don’t offer free business grants for minorities, they serve as a platform for community and business development—they’re a great source of mentorship and logistical help for any type of business.
Whether your business fixes basement pipe leaks or creates biomedical software technology, every business struggles to cope with their financial obligations at some point. But, if you know where to look, you can find a grant opportunity that addresses your specific financial needs.