Hardship Grants For Minorities or Free Money for Minorities to start business – According to the US Census Bureau reports less than 20% of businesses in America are minority-owned. However, owners of minority-owned businesses navigate a lot of challenges while securing funding for their businesses. Securing minority grants is a viable solution that can help increase business funding for entrepreneurs of minority businesses.
Hardship grants for minorities are free monetary assistance that is provided by the federal government and private organizations. With grants and assistance programs you need not repay the funding you get nor share with investors. The grants are attractive funding sources so it is more likely you have to go through stringent eligibility criteria and a complex application process. This guide will throw light on hardship grants for minority business owners.
Highlights of this Post
How To Apply For Minority Business Grants?
Once you find a minority business grant that align with your needs and requirements you can apply for them by following the below-mentioned primary steps:
- The first and foremost step is to check the eligibility criteria of the minority grant that you are considering and become aware of the application process and the deadline date.
- The next step is to arrange relevant documents such as feasible business growth plans, contact information and details of your business, robust business plans, tax returns, citizenship and residency criteria and so on.
- The next step is to complete the grant application within the deadline and follow up with the organization of the grant-giving authority. If you’re applying for a minority hardship grant from the federal government then it may require time as the grants are highly competitive however if you’re applying for a private organization then the approval time may range between a few weeks to months.
Federal Small Business Grants For Minorities
USDA Rural Business Development Grants
If you are running your business in the rural area then you need to know about the USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant Program. The program offers 10,000 small business grants to the minority. But remember that the program is mainly available to the businesses that are local in rural areas consisting of less than 50,000 inhabitants.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) Programs
The SBIR and SBTT program offer various types of business development grants to those small businesses that are engaged in research development. There are 11 government agencies like National Science Foundation, DHHS, DOE, DOD, NASA and many more that have reserved a portion of their research and development funds so that they can contribute it in highly competitive funding programs that will help in enhancing technological innovation.
Grants.gov not only offers minority small business grants but they also offer various sources of information in finding grants. Apart from that Grants.gov also offers application information, deadline and admission guidelines of more than 1,000 small business grants. Most of the federal agencies that offer scholarships directly post every information on Grants.gov.
SBA 8 (a) Business Development Program
The SBA 8 (a) Business Development Program is offered to those small business owners who need social and economical help to set their business and depends on sole supply contacts. If you qualify for the program you will also have access to a Business Opportunity Specialist who will provide you with skills like leadership development, commercial training and other advice that is beneficial for your business.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) also offers grants to several organizations that administer and operate minority business centers all over the United States. The best thing about them is that you will be able to get business advice, procurement matching and other financial assistance for your minority business by visiting or contacting one of their centers.
List Of Private Small Business Grants For Minorities
Small minority businesses can apply for a grant award worth $1000. The American Dream awards are provided in different categories including family-owned businesses, job creation and startups.
The organization which has designed the Wish Local Empowerment Grant provides financial support to eligible small business entrepreneurs as well as minority-owned businesses. Grant awards worth $500 to $2000 are provided to eligible businesses so that they can cover rent, inventory costs or any other expenses of their business.
Monthly grant award worth $500 is provided to eligible minority-owned businesses through the Fred Fellowship Grant Program to assist entrepreneurs in building impactful and successful businesses.
A partnership between the Global Entrepreneurship Network and Hello Alice resulted in the Small Business Growth Fund through which it provides grants worth $500 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses including minority-led businesses.
The Sage Invest in Progress grant program offers assistance of up to $10,000 to 25 eligible black female business owners along with mentorship, training and a lot of networking opportunities. The grant program is a result of collaboration between Sage Foundation, the Boss network and an online community that strives for the career development of women of color.
The First Nations Development Institute Grants has been offering grant opportunities since 1983 and has awarded around 3052 grant awards in 2023 of $64.7 million. The grant funding is used to support business projects of Native Americans and organizations in the District of Columbia, and 45 United States.
The Democratizing Friends and Family Round award up to $5000 to eligible 20 female founders of color residing in New York City. The objective of the organization is to assist founders of color in overcoming the early-stage funding gap that a lot of women of color or minority women face.
It is a joint program run by Project Entrepreneur and Hello Alice. Although the business initiative is designed for entrepreneurs of color living in New York City, Hello Alice provides numerous grant opportunities and resources for small businesses and minority-led business owners all over the United States.
Coalition to Back Black Businesses offers $5000 every year to black-owned businesses having 3 to 20 employees. The grantees that participate in mentorship experience receive an additional grant award worth $25,000 after completion of the program. To qualify for assistance you need to prove you belong to an economically vulnerable community and going through financial hardships.
Small business entrepreneurs can apply for the Comcast Rise Investment Fund in particular target cities in America. Around 100 business owners in every participating city receive a grant award worth $5000 to qualify for assistance.
You need to prove you have 25 or fewer employees and that your business has been running for a minimum of three years. The grant program has been intended to assist women and people of color but now it has expanded to all business owners.
A network that provides funding opportunities to Asian American women led business projects in New York City is known as the Asian Women Giving Circle Grants. If your project is related to social awareness about issues that affect Asian American girls, families and women or art and culture then you can apply for the grant. The grant award is up to $15,000 per project. The number of grants awarded to businesses depends on the availability of funds.
Around five grant awards of $5000 each are provided to businesses owned by women of color through the Corporate Counsel Women Of Color Entrepreneur Grant. To be eligible for the program you need to make sure the lifetime revenue of your business is more than $25,000
To be eligible for the Black Ambition Prize you need to make sure your business has at least one founding team member with the Hispanic or black community. The grant prize provided to the eligible winner is $1,000,000 and around 15 additional teams get grants ranging between $15,000 to $250,000.
The Pepper Startup Grant refers to an annual competition through which black women who are non-binary business owners receive a grant award of $5000. To be eligible for this grant you need to make sure you are running an early-stage business and have raised equity financing worth $500,000.
The National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge awards three businesses every year with cash prizes ranging up to $50,000. The second prize comes with an award of $10,000 grant while the third prize comes with an award of $7500.
To receive assistance through this program you need to make sure you have a black founder and minimum of one member of your team belongs to the National Black MBA Association member.
The primary objective of the Opportunity Grant From Merchant Maverick is to assist small businesses and minority led businesses to solve issues that arise while obtaining business financing from traditional sources.
The program strives to make positive changes in the business space. A lot of marginalized and underserved startups and business groups who find it difficult to access business financing from other sources can qualify for assistance from this resource.
The grant money can be used for payroll, business space utilities, rent or innovation, business equipment, business travel expenses, business marketing or repayment of business taxes or loans. The grant covers female business owners or Portland area startups.
Beyond Open Small Business Grants are created to provide economic mobility and offer sufficient capital to businesses in Charlotte NC that are owned by veterans, minorities who are LGBTQ+ communities, women or individuals with disabilities.
Individual grant awards provided to eligible businesses may range between $10,000 to $150,000. The grant funding can be used to purchase technology, equipment, inventory or real estate and not for operating expenses such as advertising, payroll, utility bills or marketing.
The next round of funding will open in 2024 and it is expected that more than 150 grant awards will be provided to small businesses worth $5 million.
Diverse businesses and black minority-owned businesses can secure funding opportunities through the Fast Break For Small Business program that is sponsored by NBA, LegalZoom and WNBA.
The program distributes grants to more than 5000 minority-owned and small businesses worth $6 million. Winners can receive $500 in the form of LegalZoom services and increments over $10,000.
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program
The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) administers the Growth Grants program that offers the maximum of $4,000 grants each. These grants are mainly offered to help businesses to expand but you need to be a member to qualify for the grant. However, NASE does not offer excluding grants for minority-owned companies but it is mainly aimed towards small companies who are struggling to find funding options.
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is a national competition that offers grant money to approximately 10 different entrepreneurs every year. The grant generally ranges from $15,000 to $50,000 and $1,000 to $7,500 for FedEx printing services. It is seen that the previous winners who won the grant competition were minorities.
Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) Scholarship
The Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) offers grants to the start-up business to women. The nonprofit awards are offered to various companies so that they can use it for arts and culture and be able to create a progressive social change, raise awareness and also resolve issues that affect black women, Asian American women, families and girls. Grants for Minority Women are also offered by the federal government to help the minority women to improve their future. The AWGC also offers five to eight project grants every year that go up to $15,000
First Nations Development Institute Scholarship
First Nations is another non-profit organization that offers a national funding program. The First Nations have provided over 2,150 grants at the end of 2020. That means they have offered more than $43 million to Native American projects and to organizations in more than 40 states including American Samoa and District of Columbia.
Additional Resources For Minority-Owned Businesses
The National Minority Supplier Development Council is a great resource for securing funding for minority business entrepreneurs. It provides a lot of resources that can assist people of color to access contracts and real new business opportunities to expand their business.
Certified black business owners with Amazon professional seller accounts can join the Amazon black business accelerator. Participants of the program receive a credit worth $500 that they can apply towards Amazon professional seller startup or operational costs and also access monthly webinars, an educational library, free services and credits for advertising and marketing support.
The objective of Operation Hope 1 Million Black Business Program is to combine financial counseling and business training and provide accessibility to small business financing options. Aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners belonging to minority groups can get free access to Shopify and Intuit products as well as free coaching.
SBI Sponsored Resource Centers provide free consulting and one-on-one coaching on topics like financing and market research for business. These centers can help you to apply for the SBA 8A business development program and minority and women’s business enterprise certifications.
Chambers of Commerce is an organization that provides supportive resources and training to promote the interest of local businesses including minority led businesses.
The Community Development Finance Institution Fund offers financing to CDFI certified lenders serving low-income communities including minorities and enables the lenders from offering education, affordable loans and other services in various ways to fund and expand business.
Recommended: How to Get grants for patents & inventions funding
What Are The Alternatives To Minority Small Business Grants?
Minority business grants can be difficult to apply and harder to win. You can fund your minority-owned business and reduce your financial burden by considering the following option in case you fail to qualify for any one of the aforementioned programs or resources.
SBA microloans and government-backed loans provide assistance under $50,000 for small or new businesses. They are issued by financial institutions and nonprofit communities and also provide free resources and additional training.
Small Businesses Credit Cards
With the use of small business credit cards, you can keep your business running and maintain the expenses even while your cash flow is uneven.
Crowdfunding platforms are an amazing way to narrate your story online and persuade supporters and customers so that they can invest in you or your minority-owned business. This way you can raise significant capital and launch or expand your business.
Peer-To-Peer Business Loans
Peer-to-Peer Business Loans are issued by private investors rather than financial institutions so these loans are easier for small or new businesses including minority businesses to qualify for. They are quite similar to crowdfunding platforms.
Business Lines Of Credit
Business lines of credit are loans that work similar to credit cards but have higher credit limits. This is a good choice for minority-owned companies that need to borrow money but unsure about the exact amount. This way you need to pay interest only on the amount that you borrow, pay back the funds and borrow again whenever you need.
If you are okay with handling some control of your business then finding an angel investor will be the right choice for you.
Seeking out grants is an amazing way for minority led businesses to gain support to grow or develop their business. Minority small business grants provide adequate funding to individuals who are struggling financially and in need of funding to launch their businesses. The grants assist businesses in underserved communities and provide business owners with the right support provided they are unable to access other resources.
As you delve into hardship grants for minorities, are you also aware of specific Grants For Autism for iPad Today? Navigate to our blog post at Get Government Grants to learn how to improve your living situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any hardship grants for minorities?
Yes, there are hardship grants for minorities. Few types of hardship grants that are available for the minorities are Grants.gov, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) Programs, USDA Rural Business Development Grants and many more. But remember the eligibility requirements and the grant amount varies from one organization to another.
How much does the USDA Rural Business Development Grants offer?
The USDA Rural Business Development Grants offers 10,000 small business grants. But the program is only available to those businesses that are operating in rural areas that are having less than 50,000 inhabitants.
Am I eligible for the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest?
To qualify for the FedEx Small Business Grant contest you need to have a unique business idea that will have a positive impact on the community. The grant amount generally varies from $15,000 to $50,000. However, it is a national competition and grant money is offered to 10 different entrepreneurs annually.