In the midst of an ongoing pandemic, many freelance business owners and small businesses continue to feel the effects of and strain of trying to keep their businesses afloat. Unfortunately, those who are a part of marginalized communities came into the pandemic with less access and support than their counterparts.
Within a recent report compiled by McKinsey & Company, many minority businesses experience limited access to credit. They begin with far less capital and limited financial health with factors such as profitability, credit scores, and propensity to use retained earnings as a primary funding source.
Adding a pandemic to the equation created a deeper wound that many minority businesses know all too well. With these undeniable statistics, many companies stepped up to provide access and equity to help minority entrepreneurs stay afloat in 2020 and continue to maintain their commitments in 2022.
Here are some of the latest grants available that may be an excellent fit for your business, along with resources and opportunities for mentorship, education, networking, and more.
8 grants for minority business owners
As minority freelance professionals, companies and organizations continue to commit themselves to closing the gap of equity. To help kick off your grant search, we’ve compiled a list of minority grants that are designed to assist your business needs. Whether your industry is writing or design, there are grants for everyone.
1. Fast Break for Small Business
The Fast Break for Small Business is dedicated to helping minority business owners remove the barriers to growing and maintaining a thriving business. The grant is in partnership with the NBA, WNBA, and NBA G League, and minorities, women, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are eligible to apply. The application process opens in spring 2022, so be sure to save or bookmark this website and set a reminder to check back periodically.
Deadline: The application process opens spring 2022
2. The Tory Burch Foundation
In partnership with The Cru, The Tory Burch Foundation, and the Fearless Fund, the organization is committing 10K-20K grants to 75 deserving businesses that are owned by women of color. According to the Foundation “The Tory Burch Foundation empowers women and women entrepreneurs through access to capital, digital resources, and education.”
Deadline: The application process opens on January 19, 2022, and the deadline is February 2022.
3. The San Diego Foundation
The San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in their region. These grants are in partnership with the San Diego Women’s Foundation and the San Diego Regional Affiliate program.
There are currently two grants available to San Diego residents. “The 4SRanch~Del Sur Community Foundation (4SCF), an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation (TSDF), is to improve and preserve the quality of life in 4S Ranch and Del Sur by increasing responsible and effective philanthropy.” This grant is for businesses that support youth in the respective community in response to the impact of COVID-19. The deadline is January 12, 2022.
The Escondido Community Foundation (ECF) is an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation (TSDF). “Its intent is to improve and preserve the quality of life in Escondido by increasing responsible and effective philanthropy.” Applicants will have a two-step process that will facilitate the allocation of funding, which ranges from 15k -35K. The deadline is January 24, 2022.
If you’re not a San Diego resident, consider checking for grants that are available for your respective location. Grants can be federally-funded or private, in addition to being local or at the state level.
Deadline: Jan. 12, 2022 or Jan. 24, 2022 (depending upon your grant of choice)
4. Comcast RISE
“Comcast RISE was created to invest in the success of these critical businesses by providing valuable and practical support.” In addition to the grant, selected businesses could receive consulting support, a television media spot, a media strategy and media placement plan, and a digital makeover.
Deadline: January 15, 2022
5. Global NY STEP
“In New York State, the State Trade Expansion Program provides grants of up to $6,000 to small businesses interested in exporting. Businesses must be in business for at least a year and manufacture or distribute products or offer services that can be exported. Grant funds can then be used for things like training, sales trips, or export marketing. This is an ongoing program run through the state.” Eligible businesses are encouraged to apply online.
Deadline: Now through September 2022 (must be a New York resident)
6. The Black Founder Startup Grant
The Black Founder Startup grant, “was launched by SoGal Foundation, in partnership with Winky Lux, Bluemercury, twelveNYC, Twilio, and other sponsors to make a small step towards progress by providing several $10K and $5K cash grants to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs.” Since this is a continual grant, be sure to bookmark this website and check back for opportunities as they arise.
Deadline: This is a continual grant opportunity
7. Nav’s Small Business Grant
“Nav is a free service that gives business owners the fastest, easiest, and most trusted path to financing. More than 1.4 million business owners use Nav today.” They launched the Nav Small Business Grant to give $10,000 to help a deserving business take their company to the next level.
Deadline: Entries are accepted until Jan. 11, 2022
8. Women’s Business Center With the SBA
The SBA stands for the Small Business Administration, which is a federally-funded organization designed to help small businesses and entrepreneurs build, thrive, and connect with opportunities and resources. Within the SBA, there are many divisions, so you must research the different options available and the local resources provided through your local SCORE chapter.
Deadline: Varies depending upon the opportunity
Are you curious to learn more about SCORE? Check out the resources below.
4 additional resources and opportunities for minority business owners
Grants are only one way to provide additional support for your freelancing goals. If none of the grant opportunities mentioned above fit your business needs, here are a few additional resources that provide education, mentorship, resources, and more.
SCORE is the nation’s largest network of expert volunteer business mentors dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. They have locations and chapters in many major cities and as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and they’re an official resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). They provide mentorship, free webinars, and more.
2. Snapchat’s 523 Creator Program
In December 2021, Snapchat announced its new 523 Creator program, which helps promote Black founders and their businesses on the platform. Snapchat’s program is in partnership with various companies, including Nissan, McDonald’s, and more. Although this is not a grant, it’s an accelerator program that would help Black Creators with leveraging the power of Snapchat for their brands. Hurry! The application deadline is Feb. 1, 2022.
3. Facebook Bonuses
“Meta is investing in Bonuses to help you earn a sustainable income while doing what you love. Join a bonus program and earn money based on performance, earnings, or content challenges that reward you when you reach key milestones and achievements.” According to Meta. Earn a meaningful income while creating content that your fans enjoy. Get rewarded for building your community on Facebook.
4. National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, also known as NGLCC, is the business voice of the LGBT community and the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBTQ+ business owners. From business certifications to mentorship, the NGLLC provides resources while highlighting grants on their website as well.
Marketers must remain conscious of diverse messaging and audiences within their marketing efforts, and it’s equally essential for us to share any opportunities that close the gap of inequality while opening access to capital and funding.
After reviewing these grants and resources, go ahead and apply to the ones that are best aligned with your skills and freelancing business. I wish you the best of luck as you apply!