In the business world, it’s not enough to just have a plan. You also need to have capital, support, and proper execution.
While having these things still doesn’t guarantee you’ll make a profit, they do give you the opportunity to try.
But, many people can’t find the resources to even start. This is especially true for people with little to no income.
People in minority groups also have a bigger challenge to overcome in the business world. Many of these individuals grew up with many aspirations but didn’t have any guidance or resources to get started.
Although loans like Small Business Administration Loans can be life-changing for your business, getting a business loan can also be difficult with little to no credit, collateral, or resources.
So what’s a business owner to do?
This is where a business grant for minority business owners can be life-changing. A business grant is essentially free money awarded to a business to use for startup costs and specific business needs.
So, if you’re an individual who is also a minority in the business world, then a minority business grant could be exactly what you need to get started or expand. Read on to find out everything about minority business grants and how to get one.
A Guide to Minority Business Grants
Starting a business is a difficult endeavor. It can be even more difficult for minority groups who aren’t normally encouraged to become business owners. Read on to learn all about what a business grant is, how to apply, and what you’ll need to qualify.
Minority Business Grants 101
Minority small business grants are grants reserved specifically for business owners in minority populations such as women, Hispanic individuals, and people with special needs. Minority business grants are also known as special interests grants.
Grants can come from corporations or federal, state or local governments. These entities provide these grants with no expectations of getting their money back. There is no interest to pay and no upfront costs either.
These entities do usually put contingencies on what the money can be spent on, however. What contingencies they place on these grants usually reflect their own business interests. For example, local governments are likely to give out grants to businesses and projects that involve improving the community in some way.
The grant money also has to be spent on specific business expenses outlined in the application. For example, if you applied for a business grant to pay for land then this money would need to go directly to the payment of the land and nothing else.
Be prepared to provide the company or agency awarding you with a grant with proof of how the money was spent. Normally, they will expect a report of some kind to make sure that the money was spent in the manner they requested.
What You’ll Need to Qualify
To qualify for a minority business grant you’ll need to first thoroughly read the grant application and description. You’ll need to meet all of their requirements before you continue with the application. Some grants can be specific to startup businesses whereas others are specific to expanding an existing business.
Then you’ll need to get clear about the structure, mission, and the services and products you offer or plan to offer. Creating a business plan is also a must. A business plan lets the company or government agency know that you’re serious about your business, organized, and capable of putting the money to good use.
You’ll also need to be able to describe your business in great detail and why it will be successful.
Keep in mind the entity offering the grant will also want to know that your products and services are marketable. You also have to show them your product or service is in demand by consumers and there is an available market.
The entity offering the grant will also need to understand who your target audience is. Research your target audience and create a profile of clients who are interested in your product. To start, determine their age, economic status, and occupations.
Then, describe how your target audience is currently receiving your business’s product or service from your competitors. Lastly, you’ll need to explain how your service is more valuable and competitive in the marketplace than your competitor’s.
How to Apply
Many websites have a database of grants that you can apply for. These websites can at first seem overwhelming, so it’s important to be patient and choose the right grants for your company.
Be selective about which grants you decide to apply for. Otherwise, you could spend a lot of time filling out applications for grants instead of focusing on your business.
Some popular small business grant opportunities, programs, and databases to find minority grants include the following:
- The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program
- Minority Business Development Agency
- Operation Hope Small-Business Empowerment Program
- Small Business Development Centers
- National Minority Supplier Development Council
- SBA 8(a) Business Development Program
- National Association of the Self-Employed
- The Girlboss Foundation Grant
- FedEx Small Business Grant
Securing Minority Business Grants
Securing minority business grants will be a competitive and lengthy process. Always follow all the grant application’s guidelines and be prepared to provide all the information the company asks for. There will be many other applicants and you must be prepared to give it your best effort.
Receiving a business grant as a business owner can change your life, your business, and business culture. It can also encourage others to become business owners as well. In the end, it will be well worth the time, effort, and funds you receive from grants to grow your business into the success it deserves to be.
Interested in exploring business loan options with us? Contact us today to learn more.