Grants offer a unique path to access the capital needed to kickstart, grow, or sustain your business without the burden of repayment. This becomes especially important when your business needs financial support but lacks the necessary resources to pursue conventional loans.
Fortunately, there exists a wealth of grants designed to empower and uplift minority entrepreneurs. These grants not only provide financial aid but also offer a stepping stone to realizing your business dreams.
So, the question is, which grants should you consider for your venture?
We’ve conducted extensive research and identified six exceptional grants tailored to support minority entrepreneurs on their path to success.
6 Small Business Grants for Minorities
Before you apply for grants, you must have registered your business with the relevant authorities. This is a necessary step to establish your business’s legitimacy.
If you are yet to register your business, the process is straightforward. Nevertheless, if you need expert assistance, services like GovDocFiling’s S-Corp formation services in Michigan can guide you through the process seamlessly.
That said, here are six grants tailored to empower minority enterprises.
When you’re in search of small business grants, one of your first destinations should be Grants.gov.
Grants.gov is managed through the Department of Management and Budget (OMB) and houses an extensive database with information on over 1,000 federal funding options. It covers a wide spectrum of opportunities, including those specifically tailored for minority entrepreneurs.
What sets Grants.gov apart is its comprehensive documentation of eligibility criteria for every individual program, ensuring applicants are well-informed.
To initiate the application process, entrepreneurs need to set up an account for Workspace, providing access to the system’s applications. Once this initial step is complete, you gain the flexibility to explore federal grants aligning with your corporate objectives and pursue those best suited to your vision.
2. USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program
The USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program may not be directly accessible to small businesses, but it holds the potential to indirectly benefit them.
This program primarily aims to bolster local water and waste disposal infrastructure, intended for rural federally-recognized tribes, private nonprofit organizations, and state and local governments.
Its assistance is typically extended in the form of a loan, with terms of up to 40 years. The specific term length and the interest rate are determined based on the criticality of infrastructure needs and the area’s median household income.
In select cases, the USDA may extend this support in the form of a grant, alleviating the financial burden on eligible recipients.
3. Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs
For businesses engaged in pioneering technology development through collaborations with research institutions, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are valuable sources of grants, offering financial support of up to nearly $2 million.
What sets these programs apart is their inclusivity – there are no restrictions based on minority status.
This means that any qualified business, regardless of its founders’ backgrounds, can compete for these grants. As these programs focus on innovation and technology, they present a unique opportunity for businesses to propel their growth by harnessing their creative potential.
4. FedEx Small Business Grants Contests
In response to the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, FedEx introduced the FedEx Enterprises Grants Contest, providing support to small businesses with fewer than 100 workers.
The 2022 contest features two distinct grant funding packages:
- Grand Prize: Three fortunate recipients will receive a $50,000 grant, in addition to $4,000 worth of FedEx Office credits for crucial printing services, along with various other advantages.
- First Place: Seven individuals will be awarded a $20,000 grant, along with $1,500 in credits and a host of valuable supplementary resources.
The contest allows eligible businesses to participate by creating a FedEx profile and entering before the specified deadline.
5. The Coalition to Back Black Businesses
This alliance brings together a consortium of prominent brands with a shared mission of empowering and supporting black-owned businesses. It is committed to providing an impressive $14 million in funding, resources, and educational programs over a four-year period, extending through 2023.
The primary objective of this initiative is to assist small businesses in recovering from the setbacks incurred due to the pandemic.
Eligible businesses must be owned by individuals from Black communities that are facing economic challenges. The businesses can apply through the Coalition’s website when the process of submitting applications commences.
6. National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge
For entrepreneurs harboring visions of scalable Black-owned startups, this funding opportunity holds the promise of success. In this challenge, NBMBAA’s panel of judges evaluates pitches from entrepreneurs with scalable business ideas, and three finalists are selected to receive monetary prizes.
The top award, which is funding worth $50,000, represents a significant financial boost for the winning startup.
Qualified businesses will have the opportunity to deliver a virtual presentation. Finalists will subsequently be granted the opportunity to present a live, concise three-minute pitch to the panel of judges, articulating the reasons their product or service merits consideration for the grant.
Grants provide essential financial support for businesses to thrive. Hopefully, the information provided above has shed light on six diverse grants tailored to empower minority entrepreneurs.
As you explore your options, remember that each of these grants can be a stepping stone toward realizing your business ambitions. So, take the initiative, apply, and let these grants propel your business toward greater success and growth.
Brett Shapiro is a co-owner of GovDocFiling. He had an entrepreneurial spirit since he was young. He started GovDocFiling, a simple resource center that takes care of the mundane, yet critical, formation documentation for any new business entity.