Updated: Nov 29, 2022
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, minorities own less than 20% of the firms that provide jobs in the United States. However, accessing business capital can be especially difficult for the owners of the 1.1 million minority-owned enterprises.
In fact, a paper co-authored by researchers at Duke University and the UNC Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise found that minorities, especially women and people of color, face much larger funding gaps than white men, who are more likely to apply for credit and are more likely to be approved for loans.
Receiving grants, and minority grants in particular, is one approach that aspires to aid in increasing access to business capital for owners of minority groups. When your business receives a grant, you won't have to worry about paying it back or giving up equity to investors. Unfortunately, there is a lot of rivalry for grants because they are such a desirable source of income.
Here are 8 Grant Programs for Black-owned Businesses
KEEP IT LOCAL BUSINESS FUND
In partnership with the NAACP and Hello Alice, the Keep It Local Business Fund grant program, powered by the Nextdoor Kind Foundation, will award $5,000 microgrants to entrepreneurs of color, enabling them to help strengthen and support communities at a local level.
In addition to funding, recipients will receive public recognition of contributions to their community, participation in events with other recipients to share their entrepreneurship journey, ad credits to promote their business on the Nextdoor Platform, and access to trainings on how to thrive as a small business, including Nextdoor's Recession Playbook.
POWER FORWARD SMALL BUSINESS GRANT
Vistaprint and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation launched the Power Forward Small Business Grant in partnership with NAACP and announced a combined commitment of $1 million. This grant program aims to create a lasting impact through the economic empowerment of Black-owned small businesses across New England with grants of $25,000 to be awarded on a rolling basis.
Grant recipients will have opportunities to be featured on national co-branded platforms and receive marketing and design resources customized to their specific needs to help their businesses grow and thrive.
NAACP X BACARDI: BACKING THE B.A.R.
NAACP x BACARDI are working together to provide dedicated support to Black-owned businesses in the beverage alcohol service, sales, and hospitality industries. Backing the B.A.R. awarded more than $350,000 in acceleration grants, education, support, and entrepreneurship solutions for Black-owned bars, restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, liquor stores, and small businesses in the process of applying for a liquor license.
NAACP X BEYGOOD: BLACK OWNED SMALL BUSINESS IMPACT FUND
BeyGOOD is on a mission to spread hope. The goal is to provide a lifeline for small businesses at the epicenter of dual pandemics. NAACP teamed up with BeyGOOD to expand economic opportunity by awarding grants of $10,000 throughout 2020.
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
Many small businesses have struggled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In response to the crisis, FedEx created the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. For the year 2022, 10 small businesses (defined as having less than 100 employees) will receive one of the following grant award packages.
Grand Prize: Three winners will receive a $50,000 grant, $4,000 in FedEx Office credits (for business and print services) and more.
First Place: Seven winners will receive a $20,000 grant, $1,500 in FedEx Office credits and more.
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses is a partnership of several brands that have come together with the goal of empowering Black-owned businesses. The Coalition is supplying $14 million in minority grants, resources and training over a span of four years through 2023 that is meant to help small businesses recover from pandemic-related setbacks. The Coalition includes American Express, ADP, AIG Foundation, Altice USA, Dow and the S&P Global Foundation.
Select businesses will qualify for grants in the amount of $5,000 each fall, in combination with training and mentorship benefits. When the summer arrives, a few initial grant recipients will receive additional $25,000 enhancement grants as a means of additional funding and support. Eligible businesses must be Black-owned enterprises located in economically distressed communities.
Fast Break for Small Business
Black-owned and diverse businesses can seek grant funding through the Fast Break for Small Business program, which is sponsored by LegalZoom as well as the NBA, WNBA and NBA. The program aims to distribute grants to more than 5,000 small businesses for a total of $6 million in cash awards. Grants come in $10,000 increments, and winners will also receive $500 in LegalZoom services.
Grants.gov is one of the first resources you may want to look into for business grants—both minority grants and other opportunities. The database, maintained by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), contains information about more than 1,000 federal grants. It also includes details about the eligibility requirements for each program.
To apply for a grant through the Grants.gov system, you’ll need to first establish a Workspace account that you (and your team) use to access the system’s applications. Once you complete this step, you’ll be free to search for federal grants that align with your business goals and apply for those you believe are a good match for you.