Below, we’ve included the best small-business grants for minority business owners. We’ve also rounded up other resources where entrepreneurs of color can get free coaching and additional support.
Fund your dreams with a small-business loan
If grants aren’t available for your business right now, check out NerdWallet’s picks for the best small-business loans and compare your options.
This database helps grant seekers find and apply for federal funding opportunities. It contains information on more than 1,000 grant programs across federal grant-making agencies, including the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA.
These two small-business programs provide contracts and grants for early-stage small businesses that are looking to commercialize innovative research and development.
Note: The next two options aren’t grant programs, but they still offer resources that can help minority-owned businesses grow.
Socially or economically disadvantaged small-business owners are eligible to receive help through the SBA 8(a) program. It doesn’t offer grant funding but does provide business development assistance, training, and management and technical guidance.
These SBA-sponsored resource centers offer free one-on-one coaching and consulting on topics like market research and financing your business. They may be able to help you apply for the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program and Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certifications.
Private business grants for minorities
The Operation Hope program combines business training and financial counseling along with access to small-business financing options. Through a partnership with Shopify, 1 Million Black Businesses offers business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs free access to Intuit and Shopify products, plus coaching.
These $5,000 grants are available each fall to Black-owned businesses with between three and 20 employees. Grantees also get to participate in a mentorship experience, and some receive an additional $25,000 when they’re finished. To qualify, you must be in an economically vulnerable community and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This grant program is a partnership among LegalZoom, the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA G League. Businesses can receive $10,000 in grant money plus free LegalZoom services. Accion Opportunity Fund is the nonprofit administrator of the program.
Each of this grant’s application cycles is open to minority and women entrepreneurs in specific target cities. In each participating city, 100 business owners receive grants of $10,000 each. Applicants must have 25 or fewer employees and at least three years in business.
This grant is available to Black entrepreneurs whose businesses were founded in 2019 or earlier and were affected by COVID-19 or looting destruction. Up to 15 applicants receive grants during each three-month application cycle.
Three businesses win cash prizes from this contest each year, with the overall winner taking home a $50,000 grant prize. To apply, your business must have a Black founder and at least one member of your pitch team has to be a National Black MBA Association member.
If you live in a Windstream service area, you can apply to receive a year of free internet and a grant of up to $2,500. Applicant businesses must have Black owners and 25 or fewer employees.
This nonprofit trade association provides educational resources and grants for small businesses and entrepreneurs. To apply for a grant of up to $4,000, you’ll need to become an active member of the association, provide a detailed explanation of how you’ll use the funds, show how the grant will support your business growth and provide supporting documentation.
This competition awards small businesses with grants of up to $50,000 each year. Any for-profit small business with a shipping need is eligible to enter, provided it has been operating for at least six months and has fewer than 99 employees when the annual contest starts.
Business grants can be difficult to apply for and even harder to win. For other ways to help fund your minority-owned business, consider the following options.