Despite advances in recent years, women and minorities still face barriers entering the business world. In particular, these entrepreneurs are generally less likely to obtain financing from traditional sources. However, there are small business grants that aim to address these discrepancies. Here are several opportunities for female and minority entrepreneurs to consider.
The Coalition to Support Black Business
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses is a multi-year program that supports black businesses. The program was officially launched in 2020 and will provide grants and training opportunities to qualified companies until 2023. Each fall, the group distributes $5,000 in grants to various companies. Those recipients will also receive training and resources, along with the opportunity to compete for $25,000 improvement grants.
Comcast RISE is a multi-year program that supports businesses owned by people of color and women. To qualify, businesses must be at least 51% owned and operated by a person of color or woman. Companies must also be independently owned, registered in the US and in business for at least one year. Comcast also generally targets specific cities and geographies for each funding round. The company recently announced winners for the 2022 awards. The deadline for the next application round is October 14.
IFundWomen Universal Grant Application Database
IFundWomen works with various companies and organizations to provide grant opportunities to women and people of color. The application periods are closed for most of their 2022 programs. However, the organization provides a universal grant database and application that makes it easy for businesses to find opportunities and store their information. Apply once and then get updates when relevant opportunities become available.
Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
Luxury brand Cartier offers an annual Women’s Initiative Award program to support female entrepreneurs. The program began in 2006 and awards awards to women-run and women-run companies in various countries and sectors. Priorities are set on those with a strong social or sustainable focus. First place winners will receive a $100,000 scholarship. The second place winners will receive a $60,000 scholarship. And the third place winners will receive a $30,000 scholarship. Recipients also receive mentorship, support, and resources to help them achieve their goals.
Tory Burch Fellows Program
The Tory Burch Foundation facilitates a year-long fellowship program for female founders of early stage startups. The annual program includes workshops, a peer-to-peer network, and a $5,000 grant to support founders’ business education.
Fast Break for Small Business
LegalZoom, the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League support underrepresented entrepreneurs through the Fast Break for Small Business grant program. The initiative provides $6 million in grants and support services, with ongoing funding rounds. Eligible businesses can apply for $10,000 grants along with free LegalZoom services. The program has just awarded its final funding round, but applications will reopen again during the 2022-23 NBA season.
Houston and Wells Fargo
The Open for Business Grant is a current program through Wells Fargo and the City of Houston. Houston area businesses, led by people of color, can apply for grants between $10,000 and $65,000. In total, Wells Fargo has committed $20 million to this round, which is part of the larger $420 million Open for Business initiative. The application portal opens August 9 and runs through August 23.
Ladies launching a subsidy program
Ladies Who Launch is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and support programs to women and non-binary business owners. The organization recently announced the recipients of the 2022 Launch Grant Program, which also includes a six-month community support program. The program is now in its third year and plans to continue offering future grants and resources.
AAPI National Ace Grants
National ACE, an organization that supports Asian-American and Pacific Islander businesses, runs a series of grant programs with partners across the country. Typically, grants range from $10,000 to $25,000 and support businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. The application period for this subsidy round has closed. But this is an ongoing program. So check the website or sign up for alerts to learn more about future opportunities.
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