Black women have more business ideas than the rest of us, however, they are facing a lot of challenges and limited capital resources when they try to start and expand their businesses.
One avenue to look into for financing: is business grants specifically designed for Black women. These grants, in addition to the ones for women, minorities, or Black entrepreneurs generally will help you get the funding for your business that traditional lenders might have refused to provide.
8 grant business and resource grants for women of color
While there are not a ton of grants specifically targeted at Black females, there are a few where you can discover grant opportunities that are targeted to minorities, women, or Black business owners. All of which you could be eligible for. So, we’ve listed a few of these below.
Another point to remember about deadlines: The window for applications may be quite short. If a particular program is open to applicants, be sure to take note of no prerequisites and register to be notified when it is reopened to the following round of applications.
1. SBA 8(a) Business Development Program
The SBA 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program that assists “economically and socially vulnerable businesses” in getting government contracts.
Every year the federal government strives to allocate 5 percent of its budget for contracting for small-sized businesses run by minority entrepreneurs. This SBA 8(a) program gives these entrepreneurs the assistance they require to secure those contracts without any competition. Entrepreneurs who participate can get assistance and training to help get their businesses off the ground and secure government contracts.
To be qualified for this program over nine years applicants must meet the definitions provided by the SBA of “economically marginalized” and “socially disenfranchised” individuals, as well as other elements. In short, it is the SBA defines “economically disadvantaged” people as entrepreneurs “whose capacity to compete within the free enterprise system has been hampered because of a lack of capital or access to credit.”
In addition “socially marginalized” people are defined in part as “those who are exposed to racial or cultural discrimination or prejudice in American society due to their affiliation with groups, without consideration of their own individual characteristics.”
IFW (IFW) aids founders who are female or female-identified of all races and ethnicities to raise capital (specifically via crowdfunding) as well as coaching networking, grant opportunities, and networking. The group’s grants center collects grants for women (crucially updated with dates for applications).
Apart from grant opportunities offered by private sponsors and corporations The hub also provides information and application forms for IFW’s three grant programs, which include relief funds for entrepreneurs who were affected by the COVID-19 virus.
IFW has also gathered data on grant programs outside of IFW’s network. IFW network, including some which are specifically targeted towards Black entrepreneurs.
3. NASE Growth Grants
Established in 1981 and founded 1981, in 1981, the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the country’s “largest non-profit, non-partisan organization” that is dedicated to helping small- and mid-sized businesses as well as entrepreneurs. One of the ways the association helps the smallest of small-business owners is by offering a grants program. The program grants NASE members up to $4,000 in order to fund the specific need, be it the purchase of equipment, hiring employees or launching a marketing strategy, or any other approved use.
Note that the NASE Growth Grants aren’t given exclusively to Black or female entrepreneurs. Based on the frequency at which the grants are granted, Black women entrepreneurs have many opportunities to get one. Applications are reviewed on a regular basis throughout the year. The company awards one grant every month.
In order to apply for a NASE Growth Grant, You’ll need to become a member of NASE and be within good standing with the group for a minimum of three months. Then, you’ll be able to apply on the internet.
4. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is an agency in the Federal government that helps the growth and establishment of minority-owned businesses across the U.S. Similar to the SBA and the SBA, the MBDA has more than 40 physical offices across the United States that allow minority entrepreneurs to get assistance with financing and business advice.
Although this isn’t an award program in and of it, however, the MBDA is a great source for Black female entrepreneurs. Find out more on loan and grant opportunities at the MBDA website.
The end-all, be-all of federal grant resources. Grants.gov is a website where federal agencies that offer grant programs, both specifically targeted to minority-owned enterprises and also for other types of businesses — post details about their programs such as the eligibility criteria along with the amount of funding and deadlines for applications. You can search for grants based on various search criteria, such as your field of work as well as the federal agency sponsoring the grant.
6. The Amber Grant Foundation Amber Grant Foundation
Similar to the NASE Growth Grant, the Amber Grant Foundation gives monthly grants of up to $10,000 to female entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses. If you’re given one of the monthly $10,000 grants, you’ll be eligible to be the winner of the annual $25,000 Amber Grant grant.
Also, read Best Business Funding Jobearn in 2022
The process for applying is easy and easy to complete: Fill in a brief form on the Amber Grant website, where you’ll provide the organization with the details of your business plan and how you’d use the grant funds. Be aware that you’ll need to pay a fee of $15 for the application.
7. Female Fund Founders Fund
If you’re a tech-focused entrepreneur looking for funding opportunities in the early stages think about pitching the Female founders Fund (FFF). The fund was founded by “serial businesswoman” Anu Duggal in 2014 and supported by a team of female investors and entrepreneurs, the fund is committed to “investing into the future generation of transformative technology firms that were founded in the hands of women.”
FFF invests in consumer, B2B healthcare, fintech, and B2B businesses with a minimum of one female founder member, and it mostly is focused on investing in early-stage companies. However, FFF is open to hearing pitches from companies in various industries, sometimes even before the companies are ready to go through an official funding round. FFF typically makes six to eight investments per year and the investments range between $500,000 and $750,000.
Learn more about FFF and its eligibility requirements as well as the process for investing and how to pitch it via FFF’s FAQ section.
8. Black Girl Ventures
Black Girl Ventures (BGV) offers support, coaching, and development services specifically for Black and Brown female entrepreneurs.
The BGV marquee product is its crowd-funded pitch competition where participants have three minutes to present their idea for a business and then a three-minute Q&A with a panel of experts in front of an audience. The audience then is able to vote “with their money” through SheRaise, a crowdfunding site. Third, second, and first places are revealed. anyone who takes part in the BGV Pitch will have the chance to raise money. Winners also receive perks including free business coaching, as well as discounts on graphics design solutions.
Also, read Fedex Small Business Grant 2022 Deadline
The final line
Being a Black female-identified business owner can be extremely demanding, but you’re certainly not alone on your journey. In addition to the networking, community, and support organizations that we’ve listed in the above article, there is a myriad of other resources worth considering. Visiting any neighborhood SBA and SCORE office, whether in person or via the internet could be the best way to access free advice and resources.