With the recent progress, women and minorities face some barriers to entry into the business world. The term “minority” does not refer to a specific race or community, it includes ethnic groups like African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians.
People with cerebral palsy or other similar illnesses, adult males with low income, and LGBT members also qualify for minority grants. American women of all ethnicities are classified as minorities, and grants are available for both women and minority businesses through private institutions and government agencies.
Minority small business grants can help business owners from historically disadvantaged backgrounds level the playing field.
Minority small business grants, as opposed to loans, are cash awards that do not have to be repaid. While the competition for minority small business grants can be fierce, you can improve your chances of success by targeting programs that are suitable for your company’s profile and location.
There are federal government programs, nationwide lenders, banks, and other organizations that provide loans or free grants to minority and women-owned businesses, irrespective of state or location. Here are sources to turn to for funds.
While each lender’s application process will differ, most loans will be for black-owned businesses, women, Latinos, veterans, and other underserved populations, with grants or funds available for businesses with bad or limited credit histories.
50 Best Sources of Small Business Grants for Female Minorities
Black Vision Fund
This program offers free grants and low-cost loans to Black-owned businesses. The funds work indirectly with various Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to help provide capital. Any small business owner, or entrepreneur, can apply directly to the CDFIs for financial assistance.
Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership
The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership assists people of color, whether they are veterans, Black men or women, LGTBQ+, or members of any other minority group. This national organization assists with everything from obtaining grant funds or seeking funding from Angel investors to forming partnerships with non-profit organizations or groups like the Urban League or Women of Color Connecting.
Black Girl Ventures
Black Girl Ventures assist minorities in obtaining capital, applying for grants, obtaining loans (even if they have poor credit), and receiving other forms of assistance. It also assists Black and Brown female-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
The organization’s partners, which include non-profits, banks, and corporations, provide an ongoing list of assistance programs.
They are known to work with various cities in the US to assist small, MWBE, and veteran-owned businesses, with a focus on those businesses as well as start-ups that are situated in lower-income communities. Aside from that, they assist LatinX businesses, provide the LEAP leadership program, offer streetwise MBA, and focus on helping disadvantaged businesses thrive.
JP Morgan Chase
This banking giant has various assistance programs for businesses started and managed by people of color as well as women-owned companies. They offer free mentoring from experienced chase employees. They also provide a varying number of grant programs, including for start-ups.
Black Restaurant Accelerator Program
This program is intended for black-owned restaurants. This financial assistance/grant program is a collaboration between Pepsi and the Urban League. Established restaurant owners could get capital, mentoring, training, and other assistance to help them keep their businesses open, start a new one or grow an existing one.
Have in mind that the accelerator program is available in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.
Howard University Center for Entrepreneurship
Howard University has a top-class Center for Entrepreneurship, and it is a nationwide service with the aim of assisting Black, Women, veterans, LGTBQ, and minority-owned businesses to succeed. A vast range of free resources and assistance programs are provided; ranging from help in applying to Capital (loans or grants), technology help, hands-on workshops, and mentoring.
Communities for Change program
As part of the Communities for Change program, Husch Blackwell provides free legal aid. The aim of this program is to help lower-income minority-owned businesses. These free legal services range from Business Formation to setting up an LLC or corporation, Intellectual Property issues, and Minority Business Certifications among other topics.
This aid is provided in Austin, Boston, Chattanooga, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Madison WI, Milwaukee, Oakland, Omaha, Phoenix, Providence RI, Springfield MA, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.
Rebuild the Block
This is a monthly grant program for African-American-owned businesses. Each month, up to 15 Black-owned businesses receive financial assistance in form of free grants. The emphasis is on companies that have been severely harmed by factors beyond their control, such as COVID.
Entrepreneurs of Color Fund
This grant is available in various cities in the United States, such as Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington.
A number of banks, non-profits, CDFIs, and government resources are used to help BIPOC businesses obtain the necessary capital they require. It may include information on free government grants, low-cost loans, counseling, microloans, and more.
Good Green offers grants to non-profits that serve Black or Brown communities. Applicants must be non-profits with a mission to provide employment and educational opportunities, as well as assist minority communities with social needs.
Black-owned businesses can receive free coaching, tax advice, and credit-building assistance from H&R Block. They are collaborating with the Urban League on this service, called Block Advisors. There will be applications for micro-grants, financial coaching, debt assistance, and other assistance arranged.
Annuity Payment Freedom
Each month, Annuity Payment Freedom provides a small dollar micro-grant. The program is called the BIPOC Small Business Grant, and it is active. There is also marketing assistance, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and other assistance available to grant recipients.
Brookfield Malls is assisting Black-owned businesses with a brick-and-mortar location in opening a store in one of their malls. Partner to Empower is the name of the program. There’s one-on-one mentoring, money to open a store, lease payment assistance, and other benefits. There are also free classes and workshops available on how to open a retail store.
Goldman Sachs’ Launch with GS fund assists underserved businesses. They are channeling hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses owned by women, Black people, LGBTQ people, veterans, and Latinos, among others. They concentrate on technology, finance, health care, and other cutting-edge businesses.
It is a no-cost grant program that also gives access to other forms of capital. Goldman Sachs and One Million Black Women are also providing free grants to non-profits run and owned by Black women. This program is to support charities and non-profits run by Black women in assisting others in the community. Job training, employment, housing, entrepreneurship, and other related causes are prioritized.
Operation Hope collaborates with banks, lenders, non-profits, and a variety of other organizations to assist in the establishment of black-owned businesses. It is a multi-year initiative with the goal of creating hundreds of thousands of black male and female-owned businesses. Grants and loans are available, along with mentoring, accounting services, website development, and other services.
As part of (RISE) Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment – Comcast is providing cash grants to minority and female-owned businesses.
There will be free grants as well as training, counseling, and other assistance like internet access, computer hardware, and more. Up to $10,000 may be awarded. Female, Black, Latinx, Latino, and Asian-owned businesses, also known as BIPOC, are eligible to apply. Training for small businesses is also available.
First American Capital Corporation
First American Capital Corporation, Inc., or FACC, is a Native American-focused community lender. They provide SBA loans, entrepreneurship classes, a development center, free counseling, legal services, and other related services. When government grants are made available to Native American small business owners, FACC can assist with the application process.
CDFIs (Community Development Lenders)
The Opportunity Finance Network is a collaboration between CDFIs (Community Development Lenders). They strive to bring capital to minority-owned businesses, small businesses in inner cities, and businesses in low-income areas of the country, as well as to provide ongoing support.
Loans, government grants, equity investments, and other forms of capital are all possible. The Opportunity Finance Network will also provide assistance to minority-owned businesses, ranging from mentoring to free assistance in starting or growing a business.
Causa Local helps Puerto Rican small business owners, entrepreneurs, and start-ups. Non-profits are another option for Latinx and Hispanic business owners.
They provide interest-free loans, advice, and other assistance. Crowdfunding is available through their WeFunder program, and they also offer 0% APR loans through their partnership with Kiva. They also provide Causa Rural loans to farmers and rural business owners, as well as a creative financial aid program.
Mansas Fund invests in a variety of Black and Latino-owned businesses. Loans, equity investments, grants, and other forms of capital could be made available. The majority of the assistance is geared toward micro-enterprises.
Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund
The Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund is for minority businesses in the country’s southern and southeastern regions, including Texas, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas, and others. A wide range of assistance programs, such as financial assistance or loans, along with other free resources, are available.
There are programs for Hispanic-owned businesses, Black-owned businesses, Asian-owned businesses, Latino-owned businesses, Native Americans, and other minorities. SOAR can assist both for-profit and non-profit organizations.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund includes grants from SIA Scotch. Numerous businesses operated by people of color (Black, Latino, Asian, etc.) can receive financial assistance along with free mentoring from Carin Luna-Ostaseski, the Scotch Company’s founder. Emphasis has been given to restaurants and food and beverage companies.
LegalZoom in alignment with the NBA is offering free grants as part of a program called “Fast Break for Small Business.”
It is an ongoing program with applications accepted a few times per year. Priority is offered to small businesses owned by people of color, LGBTQ people, and women. Free grants of up to $10,000 can be issued, and LegalZoom will provide free legal assistance as needed by the business owner.
Lenovo’s Evolve Small program is set to launch in October. It tends to focus on minority-owned small businesses. This service includes a variety of components, including grant funding. There are mentoring, technical assistance, marketing assistance, and much more. The program is also run in collaboration with AMD and Microsoft.
SHE Can Fund from McBride Sisters
McBride Sisters’ SHE Can Fund offers multiple assistance programs to underserved businesses, such as women and people of color.
Grant programs, scholarship services, and partnerships such as free Facebook advertising credit, marketing assistance, and more are available. The major goal is to assist businesses in obtaining the capital they require. Every year, eligible clients receive free grants and other assistance.
US Chamber of Commerce
The Dream Big Awards program is managed by the US Chamber of Commerce. The grant is divided into several categories, such as minority businesses, LBGTQ, immigrants, youth, women, and others. It is a yearly grant program that awards tens of thousands of dollars each year. Companies such as Chase and other lenders collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce.
Grameen America assists low-income women and those living in or near poverty. They offer microloans of $2,000 or more, and some are interest-free (0% APR), whereas others have extremely low-interest rates. They also assist women in saving money, improving their credit, and providing loans to Black and minority women (even those with bad credit). They provide counseling, advice, and support.
As part of a competition, Jack Daniel’s New Beginnings is providing grants to Black-owned businesses. It should be noted that the program focuses on Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Richmond, Virginia. A total of $40,000 will be awarded to multiple winners.
StartOut offers a wide range of assistance programs to LGTBQ+ entrepreneurs and those considering starting a business.
Existing LGTBQ+-owned small businesses can also get assistance. Workshops, networking events, free grant programs, training, and other services are available. The objective is to support entrepreneurs in overcoming barriers such as business creation, and access to capital or loans.
The Fearless Fund
The Fearless Fund and MasterCard are partnering to provide grants to women of color-owned businesses. The company must be in operation and generate at least $100,000 in revenue. Grants can vary between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars. Other criteria are also in place.
StartHER assists female-owned businesses (irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, etc.). The micro fund will make investments in and/or lend small amounts of money to businesses that specialize in healthcare, society, social services, or the environment.
The fund, managed by Peanut, focuses on small businesses in the early stages of development. The funds can assist women-owned businesses that are unable to access traditional funding sources.
The American Association of Retired Persons
The AARP is introducing a grant program for minority-owned business owners 45 and above. Several versions of the program are available, with recipients receiving around $4000. The AARP collaborates with other organizations such as NASE.
Bank of America (BOA)
Bank of America (BOA) provides a database that can assist female entrepreneurs or small business owners in learning about free grants, loans, fundraising programs, and other forms of financial assistance. It is a completely free directory to use.
Bank of America also has a limited grant program, which will be broadened later, that will assist them in purchasing real estate.
The program is known as the Small Business Down Payment Grant Program. Applicants must be a minority or woman-owned business that uses a Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 or 7(a) commercial real estate loan. BOA will provide a free grant to help with the initial costs.
Coalition to Black Businesses
The Coalition to Support Black Businesses provides grants of up to $5,000 to Black-owned businesses. Financial assistance is consolidated with a variety of resources to help enterprises to attain success. There are numerous training programs available, as well as free mentoring.
The funds are primarily for small businesses with fewer than 20 employees, and the free grants are provided in collaboration with American Express and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Southern Opportunity and Resilience fund (SOAR)
The Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund (SOAR) runs in so many southern, coastal, and southeast states, such as Florida, Texas, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and others. Numerous banks, corporations, and other lenders collaborate to provide low-cost or interest-free loans and small business grants.
WomensNet is a source of information for female entrepreneurs and business owners. They provide regularly occurring Amber Grant of up to $10,000. There are also funds for Marketing Assistance, as well as monthly mini-grants for specific businesses such as restaurants, hair stylists, health and fitness centers, and beauty salons, among others.
The Tory Burch Foundation
The Tory Burch Foundation and the Bank of America Capital Program both contribute to the capitalization of women-owned businesses.
A large number of banks, credit unions, CDFIs, and lenders across the country take part in order to assist women-owned businesses in obtaining funding, whether through low-interest or 0% loans. The funds are intended for established business owners.
UPS and the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are partnering to provide $5000 grants to small Hispanic-owned businesses. Candidates must hire fewer than 20 people and be majority Hispanic-owned. The initiative is recognized as the Proudly Unstoppable Latinx-Owned Program.
Wells Fargo is one of the country’s biggest banks. It has a variety of programs aimed at women-owned businesses, with a particular emphasis on minority-owned businesses (black, Latina, Asian, veteran, etc. women-owned).
Wells Fargo Milestone Circles mentorship program provides free coaching and mentoring to hundreds of businesses. The lender also has financing opportunities (such as low-cost or interest-free loans as well as possible grants), technical help, and many other programs.
Certified Black-Owned businesses and other businesses with innovative products can apply to the Amazon Launchpad program.
The e-commerce company is providing $20,000 grants to a limited group of eligible small businesses. The winners will receive free grants along with assistance in expanding globally and ramping up publicity, marketing support, and other business services.
Clover and Comcast are teaming up to provide a $15,000 to $25,000 grant to black-owned businesses. The program is being held in conjunction with Black Business Month. It will also include free legal assistance, marketing, and advertising services, and other benefits.
SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant
The SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant is available to black women for $5,000 or $10,000. This program is a collaboration of several businesses and non-profits.
Walmart, Winky Lux, Twilio, Bluemercury, twelve NYC, and other racial equity organizations are collaborating with SoGal Foundation to provide assistance. The grants are meant to assist Black women with innovative ideas who require assistance/capital to launch their businesses.
TikTok Support Black Businesses
TikTok Support Black Businesses accelerator program offers a variety of free services to “winners.” Black-owned businesses will receive assistance with content creation, networking services, marketing, and learning more about SEO and TikTok optimization, along with other things.
Asian American or Pacific Islander American
Small Asian American or Pacific Islander American businesses can apply for free grants. AAPISTRONG manages the financial assistance programs, accepts applications, and reviews/approves grants. The funds are being made available in collaboration with Meta/Facebook and the non-profit Reimagine Main Street.
Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), a US Department of Commerce agency, helps to connect minority business owners to federal contracts and other financial resources. The agency awards grants to minority-owned businesses for specific purposes on a regular basis.
The MBDA’s physical business centers are designed to provide a variety of services to minority business owners and entrepreneurs, including grant and loan assistance, marketing, and legal advice.
Venmo (owned by PayPal) is offering a $10,000 grant to a limited number of app users. Applicants must sign up for or use Venmo. Priority is accorded to minoritize businesses – those owned by people of color, immigrants, LGTBQ+ people, or women. Also, there is free legal aid, assistance with digital marketing, and other services.
Boss Women Media and Capitol One
Black women-owned businesses are receiving free grants from Boss Women Media, Capitol One, and other partners. Applicants must pitch their idea, company, story, and reasons they require the funds. There will be a limited number of grants available, and the financial assistance can be used with other services.
Female Founder Collective
Female Founder Collective is hosting a pitch competition with a $20,000 grant. The program is run in collaboration with Cisco, a network marketing S&P 500 company. Candidates will have to be women-owned businesses with at least $100,000 in annual revenue and must meet other requirements.
The LEE Initiative offers grants spanning from $15,000 to $25,000 to black-owned restaurant owners. Not only will financial assistance be provided, but winners of the grants will also receive other forms of assistance.
This will consist of free seminars regarding how to run a successful restaurant, mentoring, menu preparation assistance, and other services. The Heinz Corporation, Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice, and the LEE Initiative all contribute to the free grants.