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.
Black-owned businesses – along with other minority-owned businesses – are now one of the fastest-growing segments of entrepreneurship. And while all small businesses face countless struggles to launch and stay afloat, there is no question that Black business owners face additional hurdles – including less access to funding and persistent discrimination.
Still, there are now some unique opportunities for black-owned businesses when it comes to grant opportunities. If you meet the requirements, it could mean thousands of dollars for your business that you do not have to pay back.
As part of our mission at Invoice2go, a Bill.com company, to create a global and inclusive community of small business owners and freelancers, we want to highlight resources to help your business get ahead.
Here are 6 small business grants for black-owned businesses available through government programs, non-profits, and companies – big and small.
Our top resources to help Black-owned businesses to get funding and get ahead
Keep in mind that grants can have rules and limitations – so be sure to read the fine print when applying. For example, in some cases, you may have to use funds in a specific way and submit receipts to ensure that you do not have to repay the granter.
Here are 4 other valuable resources to help you stand out and be in the best position to get awards.
Learn best practices for applying to small business grants
This guide offers a ton of specific tips to help you through the application process.
Build your brand story
Being able to talk and write about your business compellingly can help you stand out. Check out our mini-course on building your business brand and look for ways to finetune your messaging.
Create a robust and goal-oriented business plan
A detailed business plan can be hugely helpful in giving you clarity and giving others the confidence to invest in your business.
Consider Minority Business Enterprise Certification
For any business owner of color, Minority Business Enterprise Certification is worth checking out. The process is straightforward, and once certified, your business can get access to leading educational resources, mentorships, networking events, and funding opportunities.
6 grants for Black-owned small businesses
Here 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.
1. Grow by Invoice2go
. Each month until February 28, 2022, Invoice2go is awarding up to $15,000 to minority-owned businesses.
The goal of Grow is to help these business owners do what they do best — run their businesses their way — while building the equity crucial to achieving stability and growth. Many barriers have disproportionately impacted minority-led businesses and we’re thrilled to provide the support to help you scale and thrive.
Grow will also give businesses access to the Go Getters community — 50% of whom identify as women and/or BIPOC — for support and insight. In the coming months, there will be workshops with industry experts on how to stay organized, win new business, simplify finances, save time – and so much more.
2. Grants.gov has many opportunities for minority-owned businesses
The Department of Health and Human Services, by way of their President's Management Agenda, established Grant.gov's website in 2002 – and it has been evolving ever since.
With Grants.gov's management office website becoming more digitally friendly, searching for grants here is simple and direct. This website has more than a thousand grant programs from 26 grant-making government agencies.
To find grants available for black-owned businesses, just use the search box or browse the Business and Commerce category to find a list of leads.
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.
3. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
The goal of the Minority Business Development Agency is to support small business owners of color. The selection process involves mezzanine and second-round financing, combining debt and equity financing to allow businesses to raise funds more easily.
The MBDA promotes the funding process directly through local minority grant competitions. They have been in partnership with Black Enterprise since 2019 and provide a variety of services to Black business owners.
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.
5. 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 Blackentrepreneurs 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.
6. National Employment Association for the Self Employed
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.
Do your research, get your applications in, and do what you do best
With all of the opportunities for grants available for Black businesses throughout the year, the time is now to begin your search. With research and strategic planning, you can be on your way to getting the funds you need to shape the future of your business.
It’s our mission at Invoice2go to amplify the independent spirit of all business owners. Learn more about how Grow’s small business awards can help you take your next steps.