To encourage minority entrepreneurship within the United States, the federal government offers an incentive to minorities that hold over 51% ownership in a company. The incentive is in the form of minority business grants. Many minority business owners do not apply for grants due to the amount of paperwork involved in order to register as a minority. Before you can qualify for a minority business grant, the owner of the business must fill out an application to the state. This process can be challenging and lengthy. Once the registration is completed, the challenge is identifying minority grants. Some funding sources will only give grants to not-for-profit companies or local government entities, who in turn utilize the funds to provide technical assistance to minority businesses.
If you are a minority individual interested in starting a business, there are additional minority business grant funds available for business startups. The important thing to remember is that most grants are not just for minorities. You may receive additional consideration for being a minority business owner, but other businesses and individuals are allowed to apply. The most well-known organization assisting startup businesses is the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is focused on providing assistance to help you be successful in today’s economy. The SBA does not give out minority business grants directly to small businesses or individuals, but they are willing to assist you with identifying minority business grant opportunities, financing, planning, and a variety of other needed activities.
Once you have determined what you need your grant for, you can begin your search for federal, state, and private funding sources. The best website for federal minority business grant opportunities is www.grants.gov. This website is utilized by all federal agencies for their grant programs. It is a time consuming process, but once you have registered, it offers a one-stop-shop for searching and submitting minority business grants.
If you are interested in minority business grants that do not have as many restrictions or requirements, the best funding source is foundations. Many states have regional or state-wide organizations that offer a list or book showing all the foundations in the area, or that offer funding to your specific geographical area. This is a good starting place for identifying grant opportunities. Usually, foundation grants are open to various individuals or organizations. With this in mind, make sure to follow all the guidelines and to write a compelling minority business grant application.