Business Finance

29 Minority Small Business Grants

Jun 03, 2024 • 10+ min read
Minority business owner starting a cafe
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      Starting and growing a small business is no easy feat, especially for minority entrepreneurs who often face additional barriers. Thankfully, a wealth of grant opportunities are designed specifically to support minority-owned businesses. Here are 29 grants that can provide the funding you need to take your business to the next level.

      1. is the go-to portal for information on federal grants offered by various agencies. With over 1,000 grants from 26 agencies, this platform provides a comprehensive database tailored to small businesses, including those owned by minorities. To apply, you’ll need a DUNS number and must register to do business with the federal government. It’s a bit of legwork, but the potential rewards make it worthwhile.

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      2. The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program

      NASE offers $4,000 micro-grants to help entrepreneurs expand their businesses. Membership in NASE is required, and applications must clearly outline how the grant will meet specific business needs, such as hiring help or purchasing equipment. New grantees are selected monthly, so there are multiple opportunities to apply.

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      3. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT)

      These grants target small businesses in research or technology fields. Though competitive, the substantial rewards offer between $300,000 and $2 million for research and development. Federal agencies with research and development budgets that exceed $100 million are required to allocate a percentage of that budget for these grants.

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      4. FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

      Although highly competitive, the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest awards one $50,000 grand prize and nine $20,000 prizes to small businesses annually. To qualify, businesses must have a valid FedEx shipping account with a FedEx shipping account number and have no more than 99 employees.

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      5. Community Programs to Improve Minority Health Grant Program

      This program focuses on improving minority health through community-based initiatives. Grants are awarded to projects that address health disparities and promote wellness, making it ideal for businesses in the health sector.

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      6. Asian Women Giving Circle

      This grant supports Asian American women-led projects that use arts and culture to bring about social change. The grants typically range from $5,000 to $10,000 and are awarded annually. To be eligible for the Asian Women Giving Circle Grant, applicants must meet the following criteria:

      • The project must be led by an Asian American woman.
      • The project should utilize arts and culture to bring about social change.
      • Applicants must be based in New York City.

      Learn more.

      7. BeyGOOD x Cécred Salon Business Grant Program

      The BeyGOOD x Cécred Salon Business Grant Program is dedicated to empowering Black-owned small businesses, especially those in the beauty and wellness industries. In collaboration with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), this initiative provides $10,000 grants to support business growth or recovery. Each year, 20 grants are awarded to deserving businesses. To qualify, applicants must own a salon or a related business, be majority Black-owned, and demonstrate a genuine need for the funds. 

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      8. SBA 8(a) Business Development Program

      The Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program helps minority-owned businesses gain access to federal contracts. It offers a variety of developmental assistance, including management and technical guidance.

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      9. NuLeaf Project

      The NuLeaf Project offers a range of grants and loans designed to assist cannabis business owners from communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.

      • Grants: NuLeaf provides grants to cannabis businesses within the state of Oregon, focusing on operational costs, licensing fees, and business development.
      • Loans: In addition to grants, NuLeaf offers 0%-interest and low-interest loans. No-interest loans are only available to businesses in Portland, OR. Low-interest loans are available to businesses in Oregon, Colorado, and select Northeast states.

      Learn more.

      10. Glossier Grant Initiative

      The Glossier Grant Initiative aims to support Black-owned beauty businesses by providing crucial funding and exposure. Each year, Glossier selects a group of recipients to receive monetary grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.  Applicants must demonstrate a clear vision for their business and how the grant will be utilized to accelerate growth.

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      11. National Black MBA Pitch Challenge

      This pitch competition encourages members to create scalable startups. Finalists compete for prizes up to $50,000 at the NBMBAA’s annual conference. There’s also a People’s Choice Award with a $1,000 prize. Details for the 2024 pitch challenge have not yet been announced.

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      12. San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce Grants

      The San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce offers grants to businesses completing its free development courses. 2024 course schedules have not yet been announced.

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      13. Wish Local Empowerment Program

      The Wish Local Empowerment Program provides grants to small, minority-owned businesses, offering amounts up to $2,000 to support operational costs and growth initiatives. To be eligible, companies must meet specific criteria, including being registered in the Wish Local app, having 20 or fewer employees, and being Black-owned. The program aims to help local businesses expand their reach and improve their services by providing needed financial assistance.

       Learn more.

      14. Freed Fellowship Grant

      The Freed Fellowship offers grants to small businesses needing financial support to grow. They give one $500 grant every month and one $2500 grant at the end of each year.

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      15. HerRise Microgrant

      HerRise offers $1000 microgrants to women of color entrepreneurs. Grants are intended to support business growth and development, and applications are open on a rolling basis.

      To be eligible for the HerRise microgrant, applicants must be women of color entrepreneurs with less than $1 million in gross revenue.

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      16. CCWC Women of Color Grant Program

      The Corporate Counsel Women of Color Grant Program offers $2,500 grants to women of color entrepreneurs. The grant is available to any for-profit business with at least $25,000 in sales.

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      17. Backing the B.A.R. Grant

      An NAACP initiative, this $10,000 grant supports Black-owned businesses in the food and beverage industry. Grants are awarded to businesses with a liquor license or currently seeking a liquor license. Applicants are evaluated based on their demonstrated need for funds, proposed use of funds, and commitment to the community.

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      18. AAPIStrong Restaurant Fund

      This fund supports Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned restaurants. 170 grants are awarded ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. To be eligible the restaurant must be currently operational, operate in a single location, cannot be a franchise, and demonstrate financial need.

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      19. Galaxy Grants

      Galaxy Grant offers a $3750 grant to women and minority entrepreneurs.

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      20. The Transform Business Grant

      This grant supports businesses owned by systemically marginalized groups committed to social change. The grantee receives a $1,000 microgrant and a business strategy and development program. Applications are reviewed regularly, and grants are awarded to businesses demonstrating significant potential for positive impact.

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      21. National Black Business Pitch

      This competition encourages Black entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas for a chance to win one of three $10,000 cash prizes.

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      22. Black Ambition Prize

      The Black Ambition Prize awards grants to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. Prizes range from $10,000 to $1 million, depending on the business’s stage and potential impact. Businesses are awarded in exchange for a simple agreement for future equity instruments, giving Black Ambition a small equity stake in the winning firm.

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      23. The Greenhouse Accelerator Program Juntos Crecemos Edition

      This program offers financial and mentorship support to Latinx-owned businesses that create snack or beverage products influenced by Hispanic culture. Each finalist is awarded $20,000 with the winner receiving an additional $100,000.

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      24. Founders First Regional Grants

      Founders First Regional Grants are designed to support small businesses in specific regions across the United States. These grants are typically awarded to underrepresented business owners, including those from minority backgrounds, veterans, and women. The grant amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the business’s specific needs and proposed impact within its community. Applications are reviewed based on the business’s potential to drive economic growth and create job opportunities in underserved regions.

      Grants are available in several regions, including:

      • California
      • Texas
      • Nevada
      • Pennsylvania
      • Illinois

      To qualify for a Founders First Regional Grant, businesses must meet the following criteria:

      • Be located in one of the eligible regions.
      • Demonstrate a commitment to creating quality jobs within their community.
      • Be a for-profit entity.
      • Have annual revenues between $50,000 and $5 million.
      • Be majority-owned by veterans, minorities, or women.

      Learn more.

      25. Black Girl Ventures Pitch Program

      This program supports Black and Brown women entrepreneurs through pitch competitions and financial support.

      During the Black Girl Ventures Pitch Program, winners can receive prizes to support their entrepreneurial journey. The top prize includes $10,000 and crucial resources like business mentorship, access to professional networks, and media exposure.

      Prospective participants must submit an online application detailing their business model, mission, and the impact they hope to achieve. Once the applications are reviewed, selected entrepreneurs move forward to the pitch sessions. 

      Learn more  

      26. Breakthrough Program

      The Breakthrough Program offers grants of up to $50,000 to minority-owned businesses that are developing innovative solutions in technology, healthcare, and clean energy sectors. To qualify for this grant, applicants must meet the following criteria:

      • Minority Ownership: Businesses must be at least 51% owned by individuals from minority groups.
      • Innovative Projects: The project should focus on innovative solutions that have the potential to make a significant impact in their respective industry.
      • Location: Companies must be based in the United States.
      • Financial Need: Applicants must demonstrate a clear financial need for the grant to further their development efforts.

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      27. Restaurant Business Development Grant Program

         Feed the Soul Foundation offers grants to Black-owned restaurants needing financial support for development. Grants are awarded based on need and potential for growth.

      The Restaurant Business Development Grant Program offers grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, focusing primarily on Black-owned restaurants. To qualify for this grant, applicants must meet the following criteria:

      • Ownership: The restaurant must be at least 51% Black-owned.
      • Location: The business must be based in the United States.
      • Financial Need: Applicants should demonstrate a clear need for the grant funds to support development and growth.
      • Potential for Growth: Businesses must show the potential for significant growth and a positive impact on the community.

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      28. Coalition to Back Black Businesses

         This initiative offers grants to Black-owned businesses across various industries. Grants are awarded based on demonstrated need and potential impact.

      Grants awarded through the Coalition to Back Black Businesses range from $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the specific needs and potential impact of the applicant. To qualify for a grant, businesses must meet the following criteria:

      • Ownership: The business must be at least 51% Black-owned.
      • Location: The business must operate in the United States.
      • Need and Impact: Applicants should demonstrate a clear financial need for the grant and outline how the funds will significantly impact their business and community.

      Learn more.

      29. NAACP Grants

      The NAACP offers a variety of grants to support Black-owned businesses. Grants are awarded based on need and potential for community impact.

      Here are some of the grants offered by the NAACP:

      NAACP and Leslie’s Inc. Certification Boost Grant

      The NAACP in partnership with Leslie’s Inc. offers the Certification Boost Grant to support Black-owned businesses seeking industry certifications. This grant aims to alleviate the financial burdens associated with obtaining the necessary certifications to help businesses expand and thrive. 

      Keep It Local Business Fund:

      This fund, a collaboration between Nextdoor and the NAACP, is designed to support Black-owned small businesses in economically vulnerable communities. Grants of $5,000 are awarded to businesses that demonstrate a commitment to community and local economic impact. Eligible companies must be majority Black-owned and operate within the United States.

      Power Forward Small Business Grant:

      The Power Forward Small Business Grant program supports Black-owned businesses in New England. Sponsored by Vistaprint and the Boston Celtics, grants of up to $25,000 are available to businesses that exhibit a potential for growth and community development. Applicants must be majority Black-owned and based in the New England area.

      For more information and to apply, visit the NAACP Grants page.

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      About the author
      Barry Eitel

      Barry Eitel has written about business and technology for eight years, including working as a staff writer for Intuit's Small Business Center and as the Business Editor for the Piedmont Post, a weekly newspaper covering the city of Piedmont, California.

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