Available grants for black owned businesses

Black-owned businesses, also known as African-American businesses, originated in the days of slavery before 1865. Emancipation and civil rights permitted businessmen to operate inside the American legal structure starting in the Reconstruction Era and afterward.


From time to time, there are Black and minority business grants available to help African Americans and other minority entrepreneurs. Sometimes, grants are offered by major companies, non-profit organizations, and even government agencies. Admittedly, such opportunities can be very difficult to find as many have been discontinued. Others in the past were offered as one or two-year programs and did not renew. Despite this, such opportunities are real and are more often offered through local programs compared to national ones.


Here are the best grant and funding opportunities for Black and minority-owned businesses:

Looking for funding opportunities for Black-owned businesses? Small business grants can be an excellent opportunity to grow and take your next steps. While it can take some effort to research and apply, the rewards can be enormous.


There are now some unique opportunities for black-owned businesses when it comes to granting opportunities. If you meet the requirements, it could mean thousands of dollars for your business that you do not have to pay back.


Here are some excellent resources for black business owners in search of grant finalists. Be sure to check out each website for more details about deadlines and application requirements.


Below are some excellent resources for black business owners in search of grant opportunities. Be sure to check out each website for more details about deadlines and application requirements.

Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition

This competition allows 4 semi-finalists to pitch their idea to a panel of judges and a live audience, for a chance to win a $10,000 business grant! Entrants can be one person or a team. There is no limit to the number of number FedEx team members allowed; however, those who pitch must have an equity stake in the business.


FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

The FedEx small business grant contest awards thousands to impressive Black-owned businesses each year. If you meet the requirements, you could be among the twelve annual grant winners.


The entrance to the competition for a FedEx small business grant is straightforward. Visit the FedEx contest website, and submit an entry that explains why you started the business and how you would use the grant to find even more success.


There is a voting period where businesses can get their colleagues, friends, and family to vote daily. The company can vote once a day for themselves. All of this is to establish visibility by FedEx's judges when choosing the 100 finalists and prize winners.

Grant awards range from $1,000 to $25,000.


 Grants.gov Program Management Office

The Grants.gov program management office provides a centralized online location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. The website was established in 2002 as a part of the President's Management Agenda.


It is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services and houses information regarding more than 1,000 grant programs from 26 federal grant-making government agencies. Occasionally, they do have information about minority business grants.


From now until 2023, Grants.gov is offering hundreds of grants to Black business owners impacted by the pandemic. This site is an excellent place to get started.


(select "Browse Categories" and then choose "Business and Commerce")

Miller Lite Tap the Future® Business Plan Competition

Miller Lite Tap the Future (formally known as the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series) is an annual competition that allows urban entrepreneurs to compete for Black business grants of up to $20,000. In addition to winning prize money, finalists have the opportunity to pitch their best ideas at exciting LIVE Pitch events in front of Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank and other business moguls. The competition also provides business partners more exposure through our "Fan Favorite" consumer voting contest.


Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Grants

On an annual basis, usually during the spring and summer, the MBDA organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting small businesses with minority business grants.


The selection process involves mezzanine and second-round financing. This is done via local minority business grant competitions held in nearly every major city throughout the country.


They have been in partnership with Black Enterprise since 2019 and provide a variety of services to Black business owners.


(grant competitions)


(minority business centres)

National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants

Since 2006, The National Employment Association For The Self Employed (NASE) has provided business grants for minorities along with other valuable services and benefits. NASE has granted over a million dollars to winning applicants to help them with marketing, advertising, hiring, and more.


NASE offers grants several times a year. With a solid business plan and an understanding of the responsibilities, if chosen as a recipient, your business can be well on its way.


To apply, visit their site and fill out a membership application. Along with grants, NASE has an application for mentorship that members can access after 90 days. Selected businesses gain access to mentorship and business grants of up to $4,000.


NASE helps small businesses by providing day-to-day support, including direct access to experts, benefits, and consolidated buying power that traditionally had been available only to large corporations.


They also offer $5,000 business grants that can be used to finance buy computers, farm equipment, hire part-time help, and more. The grants are available to black and minority businesses, as well as to the general public.


National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Scale-Up Pitch Challenge

This annual pitch competition is designed to “Make Big Ideas Bigger” by encouraging Black MBA members to create scalable startups. They provide startups with the unique opportunity to connect with early-stage investors and venture capitalists who are ready to invest. The competition is hosted by the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), a non-profit, 501(c)(3) professional member-based organization which leads in the creation of educational and career opportunities for black professionals.


National Institute of Small Business Grants (NISMB)

The National Institute of Small Business Grants produces BusinessGrants.org - a useful website that supplies information empowering prospective and existing small business owners, enabling them to know what their financial options are. Its mission is to help as many business owners as possible to understand what business grants are, how to obtain them, and whether or not they should be used for their companies.


Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants

The SBIR Grants program is a congressionally-mandated set-aside program that aims to help small businesses stimulate technological innovation. It also fosters and encourages participation in government contracting by socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses. They issue Black business grants, minority business grants, and women business grants.



The Coalition to Back Black Businesses

To support Black-owned businesses amid the challenges of the pandemic, the Coalition To Back Black Businesses has made a significant impact.


Their Black business grant program is designed to help the community recover and forge onward. To assist Black business owners, their partners have worked together to provide thirteen million dollars in grants for Black-owned small business owners.


They are set to give business grants worth $5,000 each to applicants from now until 2023. Along with the grants, they provide mentoring, training, and other valuable resources. Select Black entrepreneurs will be granted $25,000 in Spring 2022. Consider signing up to their email list to stay in the loop about deadlines and get the latest grant updates.


Amazon's Black Business Accelerator Program

Amazon is supporting black entrepreneurs by helping them succeed as Amazon sellers. Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator

provides black entrepreneurs with the following: a $500 credit for launching costs, $400 in Sponsored Products advertising credits, free imaging services for 50 products, business mentorship, and marketing & promotional support.


Before you can apply to this program, you must have an Amazon Professional Sellers account, have a physical product(s) ready to sell, and have a certified minority-owned business registration or certification. You can obtain one through the U.S. System for Award Management or the National Minority Supplier Development Council.  Applications are received on a rolling basis.



Comcast RISE Program

The next round of the Comcast RISE Program is now open! Comcast created their Comcast RISE program to assist business owners of colour with technical assistance, creative media, and marketing campaigns.


If your business is for-profit and at least 51% owned and operated by a person of colour, you may qualify for one of their programs. Comcast will choose hundreds of businesses and assist them with the creation of a televised media campaign or a technology makeover for their business. The application deadline for this round is June 17, 2022.


The Freed Fellowship

The Freed Fellowship offers monthly grants of $500 to women and people of colour to assist them in their entrepreneurial adventures. They also provide business mentorship and the opportunity to win their year-end grant of $2,500. To start, just answer a few quick questions and click submit. You will receive feedback on your business idea whether you are selected for the grant or not. Applications are received on a rolling basis.


HerRise Micro-Grants

Business owners who are women of colour are eligible to apply for a $500 micro-grant through HerRise. HerRise seeks to offer financial support to women of colour who are unable to secure capital for their business elsewhere. Every month, they award a $500 micro-grant to help with small projects, marketing, and other necessities. Find out more about HerRise micro-grants and apply here. Applications are received on a rolling basis.


IFundWomen of Color Grant

IFundWomen has a grant opportunity called the IFundWomen of Color Grant. Applications are now being accepted for a cohort of entrepreneurs that will access IFundWomen's crowdfunding platform, a $2,500, private network of collaborators, and mentors.


If you are a woman of colour, your business is located in the U.S., you have a business website, a business social media account, and a compelling business pitch, apply today for this grant and cohort opportunity. Currently, there is no deadline. https://ifundwomen.typeform.com/to/R6o6il

Merchant Maverick Opportunity Grant

The Merchant Maverick Opportunity Grant Program reopened applications for their $10K Opportunity Grants, specifically for Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) restaurants. To be eligible, applicants must be American citizens (s) and members of the AAPI community who own their food truck or cart, grocery store or market, food kiosk, café, or restaurant.


SoGal Foundation Black Founder Startup Grant

In partnership with Winky Lux and Bluemercury, SoGal Foundation launched the Black Founder Startup Grant. The program provides grants of $5K, and $10K to selected minority entrepreneurs.


To apply, you must self-identify as a Black woman or Black non-binary entrepreneur. You must have a legally registered business and a high-impact scalable solution or idea, and the ambition to be the next billion-dollar business. https://www.iamsogal.com/black-founder-startup-grant/

Wish Local Micro Grants

Wish Local is an online platform that brings buyers and sellers together in one place, helping businesses increase their sales. Wish Local has formed a $2 million fund to support Black businesses and is offering up to $2,000 grants for qualifying businesses. If your business has a Black owner, makes less than $1 million annually, and has fewer than 20 employees, check out the Wish Local grant. Applications are received on a rolling basis. https://www.wish.com/local/empowerment

Why Black-Owned Business Needs Grant

You can’t understate the importance of using grant money to fund your business and stimulate the economy. Without grant money, black-owned businesses wouldn’t be able to expand their operations or access the funding.


Specifically, black-owned business grants, afford historically disadvantaged groups the ability to receive money allocated especially for them. By offering certain grants and programs for them, organizations increase the rate of black business federal funding going to those who benefit from it most.


Grants for Black-owned businesses and other minority groups help to stimulate the economy in a more rounded way. For these reasons, black business grants are an essential part of commerce.


When it comes to starting a business, securing capital is often one of the greatest challenges for Black entrepreneurs. Less access to banking in Black communities and a history of discriminatory lending practices have made it harder for Black founders to secure loans or financial assistance.


And once your business is open, unexpected disasters like a pandemic can wreak havoc on even the most established business’ bottom line. While many businesses struggled in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, Black businesses were hit even harder.


According to a Stanford report on the impact of COVID-19 on small business owners, between February and April 2020 there was a 41% drop in the operation of Black-owned businesses. The fallout from the pandemic left many businesses urgently seeking funding to stay open.


The need for sustainable funding resources is an urgent need to support the future of Black businesses. In recent years, several nonprofits, private equity firms, and grant programs have developed with the sole focus of supporting Black businesses.

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