If you ask any minority business owner what is their number one problem most will say the same thing. People may think that the biggest problem would be attracting customers. Some would think it is staying on top of technology and social media. Both of these are valid concerns, but the thing that keeps business owners up at night is how to find the funds they need to service their clients.
There are a variety of loans and grants that these business can utilize to obtain funding. To increase your chances of receiving a loan or grant, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) recommend demonstrating worth and performance. For example, have:
- A good record of financial performance with profitability.
- Financial statements that are audited and verifiable.
- A strong balance sheet that shows positive net worth.
- A management team in place that has financial, operational, and marketing expertise, as well as a sound business strategy.
- A definable competitive advantage within their industry.
Included here is a list of companies and organizations that can help with the capital to either start a new business of expand an existing one.
Amber Foundation Grant
Launched in 1998, the Amber Foundation’s purpose is to honor the memory of a young 19-year-old woman who died before she was able to realize her dreams. Grants range from $500 to $1,500 and are available for women of all cultural groups to fund small expenses incurred in the start-up of a business.
Dare to Dream Grant Program
Encourages students to move through the business creation process by offering business development seminars and up to $10,000 in funding.
DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
Is intended to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Department’s highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance programs.
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
A nationwide competition that will award $50,000 in total to six deserving U.S-based entrepreneurs and business owners.
Huggies Mom Inspired Grant Program
Awards grants and business resources to moms to further the development of original product ideas and startup businesses.
The bank said in late 2016 that it would commit $75 million over three years to increase access to capital for small businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. This commitment includes a $4.6 million grant to nonprofit micro lender Lift Fund to help small businesses in New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, obtain capital quickly. It also includes a $1.9 million grant to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity to help develop a platform that connects small businesses with community development financial institutions to provide small-business loans to underserved entrepreneurs.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
Organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting minority businesses with mezzanine and second round financing.
National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program
Allows business owners to apply for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used funds to purchase computers, hire part-time help, and create marketing materials.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Loans
The SBA offers low-interest loans to eligible business owners who are women and members of minorities. These loans are usually obtainable without a credit report and are repayable over a long period. Although these are not grants, they are financial assistance available to first-time minority business owners.
Administers several competitive business grant programs, ensuring that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts.