It can be hard to believe, but many organizations provide “free money” or grants to business owners. You can get thousands of dollars to start or expand your small business if your application meets the grant provider’s conditions. There are even small business grants for minorities explicitly targeted at Black, Asian-Pacific, Asian-Indian, Hispanic, and Native American business owners.
Is it hard to get a grant?
What are the chances that your application will be approved?
Let’s dive right into the nitty-gritty. In this post, we’ll list the top small business grants for minorities and if grants are actually your best options.
|Table of contents|
|1. Top small business grants for minorities|
|2. Find other small business grants|
|3. Are grants your best alternative?|
|4. The capital your business needs|
Top 6 Small Business Grants for Minorities
According to a recent report from the U.S. Federal Reserve, minority-owned businesses can find it hard to raise capital. But you can beat the odds.
In this list, you’ll find grants that are aimed only at minority-owned businesses. This means that there are many more grants about there that you can access, but those others will be available for the general public (at the end of the list, we’ll share a great tool to find all these other grants).
1. MBDA Business Grants
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is a federal agency part of the U.S. Department of Commerce dedicated to helping minority-owned businesses grow and stay competitive. The minorities they help are Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asian Americans, and Hasidic Jews.
The MBDA Grantees are the following:
- American Indian Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian
- Entrepreneurship Education for Former Incarcerated Persons
- Global Women of Color Economic Empowerment
- Minority Growth Equity Funds Initiative
Of course, eligibility requirements vary depending on what program you’d like to access. Of course, you’ll have to be part of the minority it was created for.
To apply for a program, you need to create a proposal (that helps address core needs in each community), and the MBDA will allocate funds to each of the winning businesses.
How much you receive will depend on the available funds. You should know that the MBDA has been able to secure $4 billion in funds in previous years from angel investors.
Go to their website to find what small business grants for minorities competitions are open at the moment.
The MBDA also runs several Business Centers across the country. These units have been established to help companies owned and operated by minorities. They also help minority-owned firms in many other ways. It could be a good idea to contact an MBDA center near you to explore how they could support your business.
2. First Nations Development Institute Grant
The First Nations Development Institute aims to strengthen native American communities and improve their economic conditions through advocacy, training, technical assistance, and grants.
They offer small business grants for minorities in the following areas:
- Achieving Native Financial Empowerment
- Investing in Native Youth
- Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions
- Advancing Household & Community Asset-Building Strategies
- Nourishing Native Foods & Health
- Stewarding Native Lands
Because they have a wide range of areas they tackle, they don’t have just one grant; they have a myriad of opportunities that are in constant change. If you’re a Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian, we recommend looking at their Grantmaking website to find an opportunity that can help your small business.
3. NABDI Grant
The Native American Business Development Institute offers a grant for Native American or Alaskan Native business owners to research if a potential economic activity or business startup is viable. These small business grants for minorities can empower communities to grow and thrive by creating jobs and a sustainable economy with strong revenue
This economic development feasibility study is also a great tool that can help business owners get external funding from investors of financial institutions.
4. NBMBAA Scale-Up Pitch Challenge
The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) is a business organization aimed to nurture black professionals and help them enter the business world by creating educational, wealth building, and growth opportunities through their programs.
You can enter their Scale-Up Pitch Challenge. since 2017, this competition can help you with wealth-building opportunities that will strengthen you and your community. The goal of the competition is to help scalable startups and early-phase businesses with capital and networking opportunities.
Applicants compete in a 3-minute pitch competition, then, finalists compete for the chance to win:
- First place: $50,000
- Second place: $10,000
- Third place: $5,000
- People’s Choice Award: $1,000
To compete, your business or startup needs to have a black founder with at least equal stake. You also need to be an NBMBAA member (the membership only costs $10 a month).
5. Amber Grant
While discussing small business grants for minorities, we’ll also cover grants specifically for women entrepreneurs, as they’re a group that is often overlooked. One noteworthy grant in this category is the $25,000 Amber grant for women.
Applying for the Amber grant is simple. All you have to do is to provide the following information:
- Your name
- Email address
- Business name (optional)
- Web or Facebook page (optional)
- A description of your business OR business idea
- Details about how you would spend the grant money.
That’s it. The application process is straightforward and quick. There’s a $10,000 grant every month, and each of the monthly winners is eligible for the yearly $25,000 grant.
It’s essential to know a few other things about this grant. The business that applies must be at least 50 percent women-owned. Additionally, applicants must be at least 18 years old. You also have to pay a $15 fee with your application.
Which are the types of businesses that win the Amber grant?
The organizers welcome applicants from any industry. Past winners include a mineral-based sunscreen for darker skin tones, a platform that promotes reading and literacy in children, and a coworking space for local artisans and women-owned businesses.
6. AWGC Grants
The Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) is an organization created with the sole purpose of supporting Asian American women-led projects in the arts and culture in NYC. Their grants are awarded to several projects which receive $15,000. Grants are awarded yearly.
To access these small business grants for minorities, you need to be an Asian American women-led organization, or business that uses the arts to create positive social transformation for this minority.
Minority Business Certification
Institutions that provide small business grants for minorities could require applicants to have a minority business certification. You should know that several organizations issue this certification. For example, the National Minority Supplier Development Council gives a certification recognized by many companies in the private sector.
Alternatively, women entrepreneurs should consider getting a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification. This can be useful for applying for small business grants for minorities that are specifically targeted at women.
Find Other Small Business Grants
If you’re seeking details about other small business grants, you should start your search on the Grants.gov website. This portal allows you to search and apply for federal funding programs.
Keep in mind that the Grants.gov website isn’t only for small business grants for minorities. It contains information about all the grants offered by all federal government agencies. And the site has an excellent search page. You can look for funding opportunities by keyword and the date on which the grant was posted and the last date for applications.
Are Grants Your Best Alternative?
It can be complex and time-consuming to get a grant. Additionally, there’s intense competition for the limited number of small business grants for minorities that are available.
There are other problems, as well:
- It could take time for the funds to be available. In the meantime, the business opportunity for which you need the money may slip by.
- Grants are usually provided to businesses that stand out from the crowd. If your company operates in a traditional area, your chances of winning a grant may be lower.
- The grant provider may want to see a detailed business plan. This could take time and effort to prepare.
- There are usually restrictions on how you can use the grant money.
If your business needs funds, there are other options that you should consider. A business loan from Camino Financial could be a far better alternative.
Our loans are specially designed to help any and all business owners. If you’re a minority business owner, we can help you.
- Our small business loans range from $5,000 to $400,000
- You don’t need an SSN to apply m you can do it with your ITIN
- If you don’t have a credit history, you can still get a loan
- You can receive your funds in 2 to 10 days
- We don’t require collateral
To apply, you just need to have been in business for at least 9 months and earn a minimum of $30,000 in annual gross sales. That’s it!
Applying with us is easy, fast, and it doesn’t affect your credit score. See for yourself how economic and cost-effective borrowing from us can be.
Camino Financial Loans vs Grants
Here’s a table that explains why a Camino Financial business loan can be a superior alternative to a grant:
|Grants||Business loans from Camino Financial|
|There could be hundreds or even thousands of other entrepreneurs competing for the same grant.||Our loans are available for every eligible business.|
|The award process could be long and tedious.||We’re fast. You can prequalify within 24 hours. And the loan funds can be in your bank account in a matter of days.|
|The paperwork could take days to complete.||All we require to review your loan application are a few easily-available documents.|
|Grant providers can impose stringent conditions regarding how you may deploy the grant money.||We have minimum conditions. Other than that, you can use our loan in any way you like as long as it is for your business.|
The Capital Your Business Needs
Small business grants for minorities can be few and far between.
If your company needs funds, it could be a better idea to approach Camino Financial.
Our motto is, “No business left behind.” We’ve been helping small businesses since 2014, and our customers are from a broad spectrum of industries ranging from restaurants and construction firms to companies in the manufacturing and service sectors.
Try out our Loan Calculator to estimate the cost of a Camino Financial business loan.
You‘ll realize that you would be far better off borrowing funds rather than chasing a grant that may never materialize.