Grant programs offering free money are hard to come by, which is why many entrepreneurs frequently end up applying for small business loans or try crowdfunding to start or expand their companies. However, many organizations have recently created grants in an effort to assist companies that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Some of the small business grants are earmarked for businesses in certain industries, others for entrepreneurs in certain cities or states, and some are grants for minority women entrepreneurs, or to benefit business owners who identify as female and who are socially or economically disadvantaged.
And while some may be one-time offerings, they’re worth investigating to see if you qualify for these new opportunities for grants for women and minority owned businesses.
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready: A free resource for learning basic business skills, the latest digital technology and grants.
Here is a list of grants for minority women entrepreneurs:
Funded by the Boston Celtics, Vistaprint and the NAACP, grants of $25,000 are being given to Black owned businesses in New England on a rolling basis, and will remain open until all funds have been dispersed.
Specifically, these grants are being offered to ”Black-owned small businesses with 1 to 25 employees based in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, or select areas of Connecticut.”
Applicants must demonstrate the impact their small business has on their greater community, and interested entrepreneurs can apply here.
Rebuild the Block grants are issued monthly to Black owned businesses. The application deadline is the third Friday of each month. Up to 15 winners are selected from a pool of up to 90 applicants. A total of nearly $63,000 in small business grants were made during 2020.
Interested entrepreneurs can find more information here about applying to upcoming cycles.
Did you know that Black female founders receive less than 0.5% of venture capital funding? SoGal is looking to change that with the Black Founder Startup Grant.
Sign up now to be considered for upcoming rounds of small business grants being issued to Black female and nonbinary entrepreneurs. Grants of $5,000 and $10,000 are being given to minority women owned businesses that anticipate pursuing financing for growth for their “scalable, high-impact solution or idea.” The program is geared toward entrepreneurs aspiring to build a billion-dollar company.
To review full qualifications and to apply, click here.
Grow by Invoice2go
Grow by Invoice2go is our way of recognizing the contributions and untapped potential of small business owners from underrepresented groups. That is why we’re giving away $200,000 to help owners of small women and minority owned businesses take their next steps.
Verizon has created an exclusive pool of grants for Verizon Small Business Digital Ready participants. Complete two courses or coaching events to be eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant. Details: https://vz.to/3CrshX9
The Visa She’s Next Grant Program will provide 60 businesses owned by Black women entrepreneurs with a $10,000 grant and one-year IFundWomen Annual Coaching Membership. The catch is that you must be doing business in one of six cities, which include Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami or Washington, D.C.
The application deadline for this program is April 16, 2021. For more on this program, and tips for crafting a successful application, click here.
Starting in September 2021, Black-owned businesses harmed by the pandemic can apply to receive one of up to 300 small business grants of $5,000. Eligible businesses must be Black-owned, employing three to 200 people (including independent contractors), and be located in an “economically vulnerable community.” The program also includes mentorship, access to online resources and the opportunity to be considered for even larger grants.
The program is set to reopen in September 2021, so get a head start and find out if your business qualifies here.
Leading the global shift toward inclusive innovation, digitalundivided invested in over 1,500 Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs in 2020.
This year, they’re launching the Do You Fellowship program to continue that work. The fellowship will provide 10 Black and Latinx women innovators with a $5,000 investment in their business. Winners will also have access to resources and mentorship to propel their businesses forward.
Sign up here to be notified when applications open!
Although the following programs are full or the application period has passed for 2021, they are expected to reopen for 2022:
The New Voices Foundation sponsors pitch festivals for women entrepreneurs of color, where business owners can qualify for a portion of the $100,000 prize money open to participants. New Voices is “focused on providing flexible funding, learning and networking opportunities to these entrepreneurs via pitch competitions, mobile accelerators, coaching and mentoring, online masterclasses, and communications outreach via social media, newsletters and other channels.”
The Asian Women Giving Circle supports “Asian American women-led organizations and individual artists in NYC” through five to eight grants valued at up to $15,000.
Proposals that bring about social transformation, raise awareness of issues affecting Asian women, girls and families, and that highlight and promote Asian women’s roles as leaders and initiators of such projects are considered.
Although the application deadline recently passed for 2021, be sure to keep an eye on this page to learn when 2022 applications are being accepted.
Although closed for 2021, keep this grant on your radar for next year because Merchant Maverick offered four grants of $10,000 each to companies with Black women (cisgender or transgender) as majority owners in 2020.
Subscribe to the email list here to be notified when the program reopens.
A few additional grant programs for entrepreneurs, but not specifically geared for minority women that are still worth considering include:
While not specific to minority women, Neutrogena® and IFundWomen are teaming up to give women-owned businesses in the health and wellness space a fresh start. The program will provide 10 women-entrepreneurs across the U.S. with a $10,000 grant to support their “fresh start” after a challenging year in business due to the pandemic.
Applications are now open through April 26, 2021. Click here for the application and program criteria.
The application period for this grant program is now closed for 2021, but keep it in mind for 2022; the application window should open in January 2022. Although not specifically designed for minority women entrepreneurs, the $5,000 and $10,000 grants are worth applying for.
Monthly grants of $10,000 and an annual grant of $25,000 are given to U.S. and Canadian women businesses who demonstrate how the funds will be used to grow their companies.
Open to male, female and nonbinary entrepreneurs, the FedEx grant program awards grants of up to $50,000. Although the application period has closed for 2021, this has become an annual event worth applying to.
Members of NASE have the opportunity to apply for up to $4,000 in quarterly business development grants. Annual members can apply immediately after joining, while other members must wait three months before being eligible to apply for these federal grants. The program is open to men and women entrepreneurs.
Scheduled to begin accepting applications on April 8, 2021, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program is for owners of live event businesses that were in operation as of Feb. 29, 2020. Up to $2 billion has been allocated by the government for such grants, which are open to men and women entrepreneurs.
Sign up here to be notified when applications for this grant open up here.
Since new grants frequently crop up, you may want to consider setting up a Google Alert to be notified when grants are announced, so that you never miss out on the chance to land some free money for your company!
Minority women small business grants can be a valuable resource for entrepreneurs who are looking to start or grow their businesses. These grants provide funding and support to underrepresented groups, helping them overcome the financial barriers that can hinder their ability to succeed in the business world.
Many organizations and government agencies offer grants to minority and women owned businesses, each with their own eligibility requirements and application processes. It’s important for owners of women and minority business enterprises to research and identify the grants that are most relevant to their needs and goals, and to carefully review the application guidelines and deadlines.
In addition to financial support through grant money, women and minority business grants often provide valuable resources and support, such as mentorship, training, and networking opportunities. With many offering assistance for at least one year, these resources can help owners of small businesses develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, and connect them with other like-minded business owners who can provide support and guidance along the way.
However, it’s important to note that grants to minority and women businesses can be competitive, with many entrepreneurs vying for the same funding opportunities. To increase their chances of business success, entrepreneurs should be prepared to present a strong business plan, demonstrate their commitment and passion for their business, and articulate how the grant funding will help their women and minority owned business achieve its goals.
Overall, minority women business grants can be a valuable resource for entrepreneurs who are looking to start or grow their businesses. By providing funding, resources, and support, these grants can help underrepresented groups overcome financial barriers and achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.
It’s important for entrepreneurs to do their research, be prepared, and stay persistent in their pursuit of grant funding, as it can make all the difference in the success of their business.
Editor’s Note: All programs and funding availability are subject to change
Originally published April 5, 2021.