Despite progress in recent years, women and minorities still face barriers to entry into the business world. Specifically, 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 women and minority entrepreneurs to consider.
The coalition to support black businesses
The Coalition to Support Black Businesses is a multi-year program that supports black-owned businesses. The program officially launched in 2020 and will provide grants and training opportunities to qualifying companies through 2023. Each fall, the group distributes $5,000 grants to various companies. These recipients also receive training and resources, along with the opportunity to compete for $25,000 in enhancement 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 a woman. Businesses must also be independently owned, registered in the US and in operation for at least one year. Comcast also generally focuses on specific cities and geographic areas for each funding round. The company recently announced the winners of the 2022 awards. The deadline for the next round of applications is October 14.
IFundWomen universal grant application database
IFundWomen partners with a variety of businesses and organizations to provide grant opportunities to women and people of color. Application periods have closed for most of its 2022 programs. However, the organization offers a universal grants database and application that allows companies to easily find opportunities and store their information. Apply once and receive updates when relevant opportunities become available.
Cartier Prize for the Women’s Initiative
Luxury brand Cartier offers an annual Women’s Initiative awards program to support female entrepreneurs. The program began in 2006 and awards women-owned and women-led businesses from all countries and sectors. Priority is given to those with a strong social or sustainable focus. First place winners receive a $100,000 grant. Runner-up winners receive a $60,000 grant. And third-place winners receive a $30,000 grant. Recipients also receive mentoring, support and resources to help them achieve their goals.
Tory Burch Scholars Program
The Tory Burch Foundation facilitates a one-year fellowship program for women founders of early-stage startups. The year-long program includes workshops, a peer-to-peer network, and a $5,000 grant to support the founders’ business education.
Quick break for small businesses
LegalZoom, the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA G League support underrepresented entrepreneurs through the Fast Break for Small Business grant program. The initiative offers $6 million in grants and support services, with ongoing funding rounds available. Eligible businesses can apply for $10,000 in grants along with free LegalZoom services. The program just awarded its latest round of grants, but applications will reopen 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 run by people of color can apply for grants ranging from $10,000 to $65,000. In total, Wells Fargo has committed $20 million for this round, which is part of its larger $420 million Open for Business initiative. The application portal opens on August 9 and will run until August 23.
Women Starting Scholarship Program
Ladies Who Launch is a non-profit organization that provides grants and support programs to non-binary women and entrepreneurs. The organization recently announced the recipients of its 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 Grants
National ACE, an organization that supports Asian-American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses, operates a number of grant programs with partners across the country. Grants typically range from $10,000 to $25,000 and support businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. The application period for this funding round has closed. But this is an ongoing program. So check the website or sign up for alerts for future opportunities.
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