Chances are you’ve probably enjoyed shopping at or working with a minority-owned small business at some point. People of color (including Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and Native American) are frequently among the most well-respected members of their local business community. Unfortunately, these minority entrepreneurs are also among the likeliest to run into roadblocks when trying to access small business funding.
If you’re actively looking for funding, check out the following list of resources especially focused on supporting minority-owned small businesses.
Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program
Socially or economically disadvantaged small-business owners are eligible to receive help through this SBA 8(a) program, which provides business development assistance, training, and management and technical guidance.
To qualify, a small business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a citizen who has been subjected to cultural bias or prejudice and placed at an economic disadvantage because of race or ethnicity. Here is a list of eligibility requirements.
Minority Business Development Agency
This development agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. MBDA’s programs offer customized business development and industry-focused services to provide greater access to capital, contracts and markets. You can contact a local MBDA business center for more information.
PRIVATE SMALL-BUSINESS GRANTS FOR MINORITIES
Some private firms and organizations offer business grants and training specifically for minorities. Unlike business loans, grants are debt-free money given to a company by an institution in order to help them grow its business. Here are a few popular options to consider:
1. Operation Hope Small-Business Empowerment Program
The Operation Hope program supports aspiring entrepreneurs in low-income neighborhoods, which often include minority communities. The program offers small business group education sessions, small group coaching, and individual/personalized coaching to help you master business basics, create and maintain a strong business plan, as well as gain access to funding and resources to grow your business.
2. National Minority Supplier Development Council
The council is a corporate member organization focused on increasing contract and procurement opportunities and access to capital for certified minority-owned businesses. It operates the Business Consortium Fund, a nonprofit business development program that offers loan programs and consulting services for its members.
At First Union, we regularly work with minority-owned businesses across numerous states. As an alternative lender, we can usually help you get the money you need faster and with less stringent requirements than traditional lenders so that your business can continue to thrive.
With a dedicated advisor and flexible terms, along with a host of financing programs, First Union remains a valuable resource for minority-owned businesses. Call 863-825-5626 today to see how we can help your company get the financing it needs and move toward success.