- 49 percent of all loans were received by White business owners
- Two-thirds of all loans have gone to male-owned businesses
- The next highest loan demographic? 18 percent with race “unanswered”
Not great. But despite that, some organizations are collectively standing to speak up. We know there can only be a change when we join forces and move in the same direction together.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of grants designed to fund minority business owners. After we walk you through those, we’ll discuss additional resources supporting minority business owners’ growth and success.
The Best Grants for Minority Business Owners
Grants.gov lists more than 1,000 government grants that total over $500 million, including minority business grants. They compile their list from over two dozen government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Although the statistics we mentioned above may not feel promising, it’s worth starting here and seeing if any grants stand out to you.
Their website uses a search tool to filter the list of grants. You can narrow your search according to business and industry type. Once you find the grant you want to apply for, click on its hyperlink to find out its application process. You’ll at least need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and a Unique Entitiy ID (UEI). Give yourself enough time to obtain those and perform whatever application process is needed.
2. NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur’s Grant
The NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant was created a few years ago to empower Black entrepreneurs and businesses.
In NAACP Chief Strategy Officer Yumeka Rushing’s words:
“We invite aspiring and established Black entrepreneurs to seize this opportunity and join us in shaping a brighter future for all. The NAACP remains committed to fostering economic growth and sustainability for Black communities. This is what advocacy in action looks like.”
Since its inception four years ago, the grant has provided over $750,000 in business grants to Black entrepreneurs and small business owners nationwide. Selected winners receive $25,000. This year’s application just ended, but keep this grant in mind for the future.
3. Amber Grant
The Amber Grant was created in 1998 to support and empower female business owners. It has a couple of great things going for it. One, the grants awarded are some of the higher dollar amounts on the market. Second, they award grants totaling $30,000 monthly. They have:
- Monthly Amber Grant: $10,000 winner each month
- Business Category Grant: $10,000 winner each month
- The Startup Grant: $10,000 winner each quarter
- The Nonprofit Grant: $10,000 winner each quarter
- Annual Amber Grant: Two $25,000 winners per year
Eligibility requirements are:
- Businesses must be at least 50 percent owned by women
- Based in the U.S. or Canada
- Minimum of 18 years old
4. National Pride Grant for LGBTQIA+ Small Businesses
The National Pride Grant provides grant packages totaling $25,000 to 25 eligible small businesses. The packages are distributed by Founders First, a nonprofit organization that supports the growth of small businesses led by individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Eligibility requirements are:
- Identify as an LGBTQIA+ business owner
- Must be a CEO, President, or Business Owner
- Two to 50 employees
- Minimum of one year in business
- Business Annual Revenue does not exceed $5M
- Have an active U.S.-based business
You can preregister for 2024 here.
5. Coalition to Back Black Businesses
This one’s for the small business owners. The Coalition to Back Black Businesses is a joint effort among a few corporations, including American Express, to help minority business owners. It also collaborates with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, The National Business League, and the U.S. Black Chambers.
The grants are $5,000, but you also may be invited to apply for an enhancement grant of $25,000. To qualify, your business has to:
- Be 51 percent or more Black-owned
- Have three to 20 employees
- Be located in a community facing economic hardship
6. Hawaii FoundHer Program
The Hawaii FoundHer program starts in January of 2024 and is available to any Native Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Islander women business owners. Winners receive a $20,000 grant and a $4,000 stipend toward care costs. Their basic criteria are:
- The business is for-profit
- Proof of sales, partnerships, and active users
- 50 percent of the business must be owned by women of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or Asian descent AND based in Hawaii
- The business must be under three years in existence
- The business is in one of five industries: Tech, Food, Fashion, Keiki/Education, and Health/Wellness
- You align with the FoundHers’ values
If you can’t make the application deadline this year, keep it in mind for 2024.
7. The NBMBAA Scale Up Pitch Challenge
The National Black MBA Association started the Scale Up Pitch Challenge to help provide opportunities for its members (you can become a member here). It focuses on businesses with the potential to scale rapidly, particularly startups. The top prize is $50,000, and the competition helps you network by connecting you with venture capitalists and early-stage investors.
To be eligible, you must be:
- Be a U.S. resident over the age of 18.
- Have a Black (of African descent) founder who has an equal stake ownership
- At least one member of each team must be an active member of the NBMBAA
Applications are typically due in the summer, with the semi-finals and awards occurring in the fall.
8. FedEx Small Business Grant
Although not specifically for minority business owners, the FedEx Small Business Grant is worth a look if you use FedEx shipping for your business. For 2023, there were 10 grants awarded of $30,000 each. Plus, they award one U.S. veteran-owned business an additional $20,000.
To apply, you must:
- Be for-profit
- Have a valid FedEx business shipping account number
- Currently use FedEx for shipping
- Have fewer than 99 employees
Additional Resources for Minority Business Owners
National Minority Supplier Development Council
The National Minority Supplier Development Council focuses on increasing business opportunities for minority business owners by connecting them to America’s largest companies. Its nonprofit business development program also offers members financial programs and business consultations.
Minority Business Development Agency
The MBDA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its purpose is to help minority business owners grow their companies through facilitating financial resources, federal contracts, and opportunities. Here’s a list of the business centers across America.
SBA 8(a) Business Development Program
The SBA Business Development Program focuses on helping minority business owners with social or economic disadvantages. It doesn’t offer grant funding, but it does provide business training, development, and technical assistance. It’s open to any small business that’s at least 51 percent owned by a U.S. citizen who’s been placed at an economic disadvantage based on ethnicity.
Operation HOPE 1 Million Black Businesses
The Operation Hope program aims to ” start, grow, and scale 1 million Black businesses by 2030 to provide a successful path to wealth creation for the Black community.” Through its program, you get access to coaching and educational services and the connections needed to improve your business.
Gold House Ventures
Gold House Ventures is an investment fund whose mission is to help startups with at least one Asian and Pacific Islander founder or co-founder. They invest capital, tools, and networking resources into your business to accelerate its growth.
Next Steps for Your Minority-Owned Business
Starting any business is a challenge. Starting a minority-owned business is something else. We hope one or more of these resources can give your company the boost it needs to thrive and grow. If you end up looking for cost-effective solutions to your content creation, ClearVoice has your back. Talk to a specialist today to craft a content plan that produces top-tier content that drives your business’s success without breaking the bank.