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30 Small-Business Grants for Minority Entrepreneurs, Plus Resources
Small-business grants can help your minority-owned business access funding you don't have to pay back.
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
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Minority small-business grants offer funding you don’t have to pay back. Below, we've included the best small-business grants for minority business owners. We’ve also rounded up other resources where entrepreneurs of color can get free coaching and additional support.
Although business grants can give you a leg up, competition tends to be stiff and funding amounts are usually relatively small. You may want to consider alternative financing options as well.
We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.
Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.
Private business grants for minorities
1. Wish Local Empowerment Grant
Black business owners can apply for $500 - $2,000 grants through the Wish Local Empowerment Grant program. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, have 20 or fewer employees, generate an annual average revenue of less than $1 million and own a brick-and-mortar location in the United States. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
2. The Freed Fellowship Grant
The Freed Fellowship offers monthly $500 grants to people of color or women business owners. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and grant recipients may also win an additional $2,500 grant at the end of the year.
3. HerRise Microgrant
Now in its seventh year, the Yva Jourdan Foundation and HerSuite Spot offer monthly $1,000 HerRise micro-grants to women of color entrepreneurs. To be eligible, your business must be at least 51% woman of color owned and must be a for-profit business registered in the U.S. Applications are due on the last day of each month.
Now in its third year, the #SupportSmallBiz grant is presented by Small Business Majority and Support Latino Business. Four businesses will receive a $2,500 grant. To be eligible, your business must be at least 50% Latino-owned and must have been in operation for at least one year. Applications are accepted from September 14 - 28, 2023.
5. National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants
This nonprofit trade association provides educational resources and grants for small businesses and entrepreneurs. To apply for a grant of up to $4,000, you’ll need to become an active member of the National Association for the Self-Employed, provide a detailed explanation of how you’ll use the funds, show how the grant will support your business growth and provide supporting documentation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
6. CCWC Women of Color Entrepreneur Grant
The Corporate Council Women of Color Entrepreneur Grant awards five $5,000 grants to businesses owned by women of color. To be eligible, your business must have been established since at least Jan. 1, 2020 and must have generated more than $25,000 in lifetime revenue. Submissions are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis and the next winner will be announced in September 2023.
7. Hawaii FoundHer Program
Native Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Islander women business owners are eligible to apply for this accelerator program which starts in January 2024. In addition to a $20,000 grant, participants will receive a $4,000 stipend to put toward care costs. Applications are accepted until September 15, 2023.
8. BGV Pitch Competition
Held by Black Girl Ventures, this pitch competition is open to Black or brown female business owners. The first-place winner will receive a $10,000 grant, second place is awarded $6,000 and third place wins $2,000. Applications close on November 10, 2023.
9. Feed the Soul's Restaurant Business Development Grant
This program is open to food businesses that are at least 51% owned by someone who belongs to one of the following categories: Black, Indigenous, Latinx, LGBTQ+, military veterans, persons with disabilities or formerly incarcerated individuals. In addition to a financial grant, Restaurant Business Development Program participants receive six months of consulting services and educational training. Applications to be a part of the next cohort will be accepted from October 5, 2023 to January 31, 2024.
10. Founders First Job Creators Quest Grant
Southern California- and Chicago-based businesses may be eligible to apply for a Founders First Job Creators Quest Grant. Founders must identify as one of the following to apply for these local programs: Asian, Black or Latinx women; LGBTQ+; or military veterans. Applications for Southern California businesses open on October 17, 2023 and pre-registration for Chicago businesses is open now.
11. Coalition to Back Black Businesses
These $5,000 grants are available each year to Black-owned businesses with between three and 20 employees. Grantees also get to participate in a mentorship experience, and some receive an additional $25,000 grant when they have completed the program. To qualify for a Coalition to Back Black Businesses grant, you must be in an economically vulnerable community and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the 2023-2024 cohort are expected to open later this year.
12. Comcast RISE Investment Fund
The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is open to entrepreneurs in specific target cities each funding cycle. In each participating city, 100 business owners receive grants of $5,000 each. Applicants must have 25 or fewer employees and at least three years in business. Although this grant program was originally intended for people of color and women, it has since been expanded to all small business owners.
13. REI Navigate Program
Open to businesses with at least one founder who identifies as Black, Indigenous, Latinx or Asian American and Pacific Islander, the REI Navigate Program is a four-month program that offers group programming, mentorship and access to an outdoor-focused community of entrepreneurs.
In order to be eligible to apply, your business must be in the activity or outdoor categories and have generated between $75,000 and $2 million in revenue in the last 12 months. Recipients are awarded $25,000 grants. Applications for the 2024 cycle will open next year.
14. The Black Ambition Prize
To be eligible for the Black Ambition Prize, your business must have at least one founding team member who identifies as Black or Hispanic/Latinx. The grand prize winner is awarded $1,000,000, and 15 additional teams receive between $15,000 and $250,000. Applications for the 2023 cycle have closed, but check the website or subscribe to the newsletter for updates on the 2024 cycle.
15. Beyond Open Grant
Charlotte, N.C.-based small business owners who identify as minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ+ individuals or individuals with disabilities are eligible to apply for Beyond Open grants. Grant amounts are between $10,000 and $150,000. Applications for round 3 of this grant are expected to open in 2024. You can sign up for updates on the website.
This competition, which is not limited to minority small business owners,awards grants of up to $50,000 each year. Any for-profit small business with a shipping need is eligible to enter, provided it has been operating for at least six months and has fewer than 99 employees when the annual contest starts. The next cycle will open in early 2024.
17. Center for Economic Inclusion Vanguard Accelerator
Women entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Indigenous or Latina and who are based in the Twin Cities may be eligible for the Center for Economic Inclusion Vanguard Accelerator program. Ten participants will be receive $5,000 grants as part of this program. Pre-registration for the 2024 cycle is now open.
18. The Pepper Startup Grant
The Pepper Startup Grant is an annual competition that awards $5,000 to a Black woman or nonbinary business owner. To be eligible, you must run an early-stage business that has raised less than $500,000 in equity financing. Applications for the 2023 round closed on August 23, and semi-finalists will be announced in October.
19. Breakthrough Program by DigitalUndivided
Sponsored by J.P. Morgan Chase and run by DigitalUndivided, the Breakthrough Program offers grants to female small business owners who are Black or Latina. Recipients will receive a $5,000 grant, a business mentor and sessions focused on startup funding, marketing strategies and customer analytics. Applications for the current cycle closed on August 27.
In 2023, the Siete Juntos Fund is awarding grants to Latino-owned bakeries, eateries and food trucks. The grand prize winner will receive $50,000, the second-place winner will get $30,000 and the third-place winner will be awarded $20,000. Up to 10 additional businesses will receive grants of at least $10,000. Applications closed on August 15.
22. National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge
Three businesses win cash prizes from the National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge each year, with the overall winner taking home a $50,000 grant prize. Second place wins a $10,000 grant and third place receives $7,500. To apply, your business must have a Black founder and at least one member of your pitch team has to be a National Black MBA Association member. Applications for the 2023 cycle closed on August 4. The pitch competition will be held on September 15.
23. National Black Business Pitch
The National Black Business Pitch is an annual competition for Black business owners. Applications for the 2023 cycle closed on June 1. Thirty finalists were selected to pitch their businesses in front of a virtual audience in August. Three winners will receive prizes of up to $10,000.
24. America's Top Small Business Awards
Formerly the Dream Big Awards, America's Top Small Business Awards is run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This grant is open to all small business owners who are U.S. residents; run a for-profit business that has been in operation for at least one year; have fewer than 250 employees or gross revenues of less than $20 million in both 2021 and 2022. One grand prize winner will receive a $25,000 grant. The 2023 cycle closed on July 21. Finalists will be notified in October.
25. Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative
Currently in its third year, the Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative awards $50,000 grants to three Black-owned businesses. The program is a collaboration between Famous Amos and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. To qualify, your business must be at least 90% Black-owned, headquartered in the U.S. and have been in operation for five years or fewer. Applications closed on June 26, 2023.
26. Transform Business Grant
Open to business owners from systemically oppressed backgrounds, including minority business owners, LGBTQ+ individuals, individuals with disabilities and formerly incarcerated individuals, the Transform Business Grant awards a $1,000 micro-grant.
Funded by VistaPrint and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, and in partnership with the NAACP, the Power Forward Small Business Grant offers $25,000 grants to Black-owned businesses in New England. To qualify, your business must be located in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont or select parts of Connecticut; must employ between two and 25 people; and should be able to demonstrate its impact on the larger community. Applications for the latest cycle closed on June 30, 2023.
Federal business grants for minorities
This database helps grant seekers find and apply for federal funding opportunities. It contains information on more than 1,000 grant programs across federal grant-making agencies, including the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA.
To apply, you’ll need a unique entity ID, which lets you bid on government contracts and apply for federal grants. You'll also need an account at Grants.gov.
29. The USDA Rural Business Development Grant Program
This is a USDA grant for the development or expansion of small businesses in rural areas — minority-owned or not. To qualify, you’ll need to have 50 or fewer new employees and less than $1 million in gross revenue as well as be in an eligible rural area.
Grants can be used for a variety of purposes, including training and technical assistance, acquisition or development of land and long-term business planning. Applications are accepted through the USDA Rural Development’s state offices once per year.
Minority Business Development Agency business centers
This development agency of the Department of Commerce promotes the growth of minority-run small businesses by connecting owners with financing resources, federal contracts and market opportunities. Connect with a local MBDA business center in your region for more information.
SBA 8(a) Business Development Program
Socially or economically disadvantaged small-business owners are eligible to receive help through the SBA 8(a) program. It doesn’t offer grant funding but does provide business development assistance, training, and management and technical guidance.
To qualify, a small business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a citizen who has been subjected to cultural bias or prejudice and placed at an economic disadvantage because of race or ethnicity. Here is a list of eligibility requirements.
Small Business Development Centers
These SBA-sponsored resource centers offer free one-on-one coaching and consulting on topics like market research and financing your business. They may be able to help you apply for the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program and Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certifications.
Operation HOPE 1 Million Black Businesses
The Operation Hope program combines business training and financial counseling along with access to small-business financing options. Through a partnership with Shopify, 1 Million Black Businesses offers business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs free access to Intuit and Shopify products, plus coaching.
Gold House Ventures
Gold House Ventures is an investment fund that provides capital to Asian and Pacific Islander founders. In addition to seed funding, Gold House Ventures offers accelerator programs, classes, mentorship and more.
Amazon Black Business Accelerator
Certified Black-owned businesses with Amazon Professional Seller accounts can apply to join the Amazon Black Business Accelerator. Participants receive a $500 credit to apply toward Amazon Professional Seller startup or operational costs, access to an educational library and monthly webinars and free credits and services for marketing and advertising support.
Business grants can be difficult to apply for and even harder to win. For other ways to help fund your minority-owned business, consider the following options.
SBA microloans: These government-backed loans of up to $50,000 can be a good choice for new or very small businesses. They’re typically issued by nonprofit community financial institutions, many of which offer additional training and resources.
Crowdfunding: If you can tell your business’s story online in a way that persuades your customers and supporters to invest in you, you may be able to raise significant capital to launch or expand your business.
Business lines of credit:These business loans work like credit cards but usually have higher credit limits. They can be a good choice for companies that need to borrow money but aren’t quite sure how much — you’ll pay interest on only what you borrow, and you can pay funds back and borrow them again as often as you need.
Peer-to-peer business loans:Because they’re issued by private investors instead of financial institutions, P2P business loans may be easier for new or small businesses to qualify for. Some are similar to crowdfunding platforms.