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If you are still a newbie in running a business, having free money to help is music to your ears. Unlike business loans where you need to repay the money that you owe, small business grants do not require repayment. This means there is no need to deal with the length of the term, APR, interest rates, or even refinancing. (Nor that snooty bank loan manager that can't stop making comments about your hair.)
There are things that you may have to take into consideration, though. For one, these small business grants are somewhat specific when it comes to the things that will use the money on. This is different with those small business loans as they are generally flexible. Also, sometimes for minorities are quite difficult to qualify for, and rare to find. After all, there are a lot of some dead old websites, misinformation, confusing data, complex restrictions, and a lot more to consider.
In order to help you out in looking for a business grant, we have compiled this list of business grants for minorities. This list will also include the eligibility requirements, application process, and timelines that you can expect.
Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition
This competition allows 4 semi-finanalists to pitch their idea to a panel of judges and a live audience, for a chance to win a $10,000 business grant! Entrants can be one person or a team. There is no limit to the number of team members allowed; however, those who pitch must have an equity stake in the business.
Fedex Small Business Grant Contest
Fedex allows business owners and entrepreneurs to register and submit their business story and photos. Once the application is approved and the voting period begins, they can vote for their own business once a day – and get their friends, customers, and associates to also vote everyday. The number of votes received will boost your visibility in the contest and is one factor that FedEx will consider when selecting the top 100 finalists and the winners. Grant awards range from $1,000 to $25,000.
Grants.gov Program Management Office
The Grants.gov program management office provides a centralized online location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. The web site was established in 2002 as a part of the President's Management Agenda. It is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, and houses information regarding more than 1,000 grant programs from 26 federal grant-making government agencies. Occasionally, they do have information about minority business grants.
(select “Browse Categories” and then choose “Business and Commerce”)
Miller Lite Tap the Future® Business Plan Competition
Miller Lite Tap the Future (formally known as the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series) is an annual competition that allows urban entrepreneurs to compete for Black business grants of up to $20,000. In addition to winning prize money, finalists have the opportunity to pitch their best ideas at exciting LIVE Pitch events in front of Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank and other business moguls. The competition also provides business partners more exposure through our “Fan Favorite” consumer voting contest.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Grants
On an annual basis, usually during the spring and summer, the MBDA organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting small businesses with minority business grants. The selection process involves mezzanine and second round financing. This is done via local minority business grant competitions held in nearly every major city through the country.
www.MBDA.gov/main/grantcompetitions (grant competitions)
www.MBDA.gov/businesscenters (minority business centers)
National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
NASE helps small businesses by providing day-to-day support, including direct access to experts, benefits, and consolidated buying power that traditionally had been available only to large corporations. They also offer $5,000 business grants that can be used to finance buy computers, farm equipment, hire part-time help, and more. The grants are available to black and minority businesses, as well as to the general public.
National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Scale-Up Pitch Challenge
This annual pitch competition designed to “Make Big Ideas Bigger” by encouraging Black MBA members to create startups that are scalable. They provide startups the unique opportunity to connect with early stage investors and venture capitalists who are ready to invest. The competition is hosted by the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), a non-profit, 501(c)(3) professional member-based organization which leads in the creation of educational and career opportunities for black professionals.
National Institute of Small Business Grants (NISMB)
The National Institute of Small Business Grants produces BusinessGrants.org – a useful web site that supplies information empowering prospective and existing small business owners, enabling them to know what their financial options are. Their mission is to help as many business owners as possible to understand what business grants are, how to obtain them, and whether or not they should be used for their companies.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants
The SBIR Grants program is a congressionally-mandated set-aside program that aims to help small businesses stimulate technological innovation. It also fosters and encourages participation in government contracting by socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses. They issue Black business, minority business, and women business grants.
Hopefully you see something on this list that appeals to your business. Maybe you see one or two that appeal to a friend's business. Share this article! Spread the wealth. We as Black business owners need to support one another and root for each other's success. However we at Black Business Boost can support you, we hope to do so! And we hope that you support one another and each other's dreams the same way you support your own.
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