Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by Selina Parker
If you are a minority business owner, federal grants are available to help you grow your business. The government understands the importance of minority-owned businesses and is committed to helping them succeed.
This article will discuss the different available grants and how to apply for them. We will also provide tips on how to improve your chances of being approved for a grant. So if you are ready to take your business to the next level, keep reading!
What it is like to be a minority business owner
Minority business owners face unique challenges when compared to non-minority business owners. They are more likely to have trouble accessing capital and qualifying for small business loans making it challenging to grow their businesses. Minority and black-owned businesses also face discrimination and racism, making it hard to succeed.
Despite these challenges, minority-owned small businesses are vital to the American economy. They create jobs and help to grow the economy. Minority-owned businesses also help to diversify the workforce and bring new perspectives to the table.
There are minority business grants available to bridge the gap between these challenges. These grants will help minority-owned businesses grow and succeed.
Who is eligible for minority business grants?
The requirements to qualify for business grants for minorities will vary depending on the program. The best thing about applying for grants is that they are available to many companies, including non-profit organizations, for-profit firms, startups, early-stage businesses, etc.
It’s critical to read the terms and conditions to ensure you’re eligible for the grant money. In addition, the distinction between private and federal funding may vary based on the type of minority small business assistance they provide.
However, here are the most common minority business grant requirements:
- Must be 51% minority-owned
- At least 25% of the company should be run by someone of Asian American, Pacific Islander, African American, Native American, Latinx, or Hispanic heritage.
- Have a company that operates in an economically disadvantaged area
- You must have a minority-owned business certification
Minority Small Business Grants Available
This federal portal is a tremendous help in determining which government grants are appropriate for your business and industry. Grants.gov has eligibility requirements, application points, and deadlines for over 1,000 small company grants.
This site provides information about which agencies offer grants and how to apply for them. This website contains details on every federal government agency that may provide funding and other helpful information. The Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration are just a few federal departments that offer grants.
Minorities-owned businesses, for example, may narrow the search based on the category “small company” or your eligibility criteria such as “Native American tribal organization” or “nonprofits.”
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
The United States Department of Defense (DoD) funds the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to operate Minority Business Centers in all 50 states. You may get business consulting, procurement matching, and financial aid for your minority-owned company through one of these centers.
The US Military’s Missile Defense Agency runs a separate ongoing grant competition program. In 2021, this initiative sought proposals to establish and operate one of four MBDA Export Centers.
The USDA Rural Business Development Grant Program
It is a USDA grant for creating or expanding small businesses in rural areas that persons of color own. You must have fewer than 50 new employees, less than $1 million in gross income, and an eligible rural region to get this tax break.
You can use the grants for various purposes, including training and technical assistance, acquiring or developing land, and long-term business planning. The USDA’s Rural Development state offices accept applications once a year.
National Association for the Self-Employed
The National Association for the Self-Employed is a membership-based and non-profit organization that provides educational tools and funding to entrepreneurs. You must first join the association and then apply for a grant of up to $4,000.
You’ll need to become an active member of the organization, explain how you’ll use the money, demonstrate how the funding will help your company develop, and offer supporting documentation to apply for this minority business grant.
National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge
If you have a business concept that you believe is scalable, the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Scale-Up Pitch Challenge could be of interest. The NBMBAA established a “Make Big Ideas Bigger” competition to help eligible startups connect with venture capitalists and other early-stage investors.
The NAMBB’s judges will choose the top five entries and select three runners-up to receive cash prizes. The leading award is a $50,000 small company grant.
When the application process is live, potential businesses may submit a virtual pitch to a panel of judges by describing their business concept. The top three applicants will present a three-minute pitch in front of a meeting about why the judges should consider their product or service for the prize.
Asian Women Giving Circle Grants
The Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) is a networking group that raises money for women-led projects. In the arts and cultural sector, New York City initiatives only with a social awareness focus on issues that affect Asian American females, women, and families are eligible.
The grant committee makes grants of up to $15,000 per project. The availability of cash determines the number of awards made. You may submit your application online when the application process is open.
Fast Break for Small Business
Fast Break for Small Business is a federally-funded program that provides funding to qualifying black-owned and diverse small businesses. The Small Business Finance Program awards $6 million in cash grants to more than 5,000 small businesses. Grants are available in $10,000 amounts and include $500 worth of LegalZoom services.
They will accept the next round of applicants in the spring of 2022. You may register to receive notifications about future funding possibilities online.
First Nations Development Institute Grants
Since 1993, First Nations has given $51.6 million in grants and technical assistance to Native American groups and projects.
Covid-19 response, native youth and culture support, college scholarships, and a native youth business plan competition are just a few initiatives they could fund through grants. Visit the First Nations website to learn more about new grant opportunities as they become available.
Operation Hope Small-Business Empowerment Program
The Operation Hope initiative is for aspiring entrepreneurs in low-income communities, frequently made up of minorities. The partnership will assist entrepreneurs in developing an effective income statement and budget and financial plan.
They provide access to small-business financing alternatives through business training and financial counseling. Participants must complete a 12-week education program and business finance, credit, and money management sessions.
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
Many small businesses have been affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. FedEx established the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest in reaction to the crisis. By 2022, ten small companies (those with fewer than 100 employees) will be eligible for one of the following grant award packages.
- The grand prize is $50,000 plus a $4,000 FedEx Office gift card (for business and print services) for each winner.
- Second Place: Seven winners will receive a $20,000 grant, $1,500 in FedEx Office points, etc.
As a minority business owner, grant opportunities are available to help you grow your business. You can start looking on the website of the Small Business Administration or the Minority Business Development Agency to get started. These organizations can provide you with access to capital, business counseling services, and government contracts if you qualify.
Do you know other organizations that minority business owners can go to for help? Please share them in the comments below!
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