Business leaders around the globe are taking strides to help minority business owners overcome obstacles and get funding. Some are local, others are national, but they’re all making a difference.
In Connecticut, for example, the Connecticut Minority Business Initiative is offering high-quality technical assistance in marketing, strategic and operational planning, financial analysis, contract management, and compliance. They also offer loan and grant programs in addition to strategic relationships with many local and regional lending partners.
In Minnesota, the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) recently launched a Mini MBA program that provides minority entrepreneurs ways to increase revenue and sustain business. The program offers subsidized classes that arm budding business owners with expertise on how to design and set strategic goals to expand their businesses.
“We want to assist businesses that would create jobs and economic opportunities within the community,” explained MEDA CEO Gary Cunningham in an interview. “MEDA has been working with some of the largest minority-owned businesses for a number of years. What we want to do now is help accelerate those businesses so they grow faster and are more sustainable.”
On a national level, groups like the Techstars Foundation are seeking to increase representation of minority founders in the tech community “by providing opportunities through grants, scholarships and sponsorships.” Techstars has funded 762 startup companies with collective total funding of more than $2 billion.
Another big player is the NewME Startup Accelerator, a group seeking to accelerate the funding of minority businesses around the world. Their 12-week residential incubator program offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to seek mentorship from tech industry leaders and collaborate with fellow founders. NewME has successfully helped launch and grow hundreds of minority businesses, raising more than $20 million in venture capital financing.
Other groups include 500 Startups, Black Founders, CODE2040, and the list goes on. These organizations have paved a path to success for countless minority-owned businesses. It’s not an end-all solution, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.