Minority business owners face a lot of issues when trying to finance their businesses. Black communities have less access to banking, leading to Black business owners being given higher interest rates than white business owners and often receiving less business financing. On top of that, unexpected circumstances can arise that can make operating a business even harder – like the COVID pandemic. Research from a Stanford Report shows that there was a 41% drop in the operation of Black-owned businesses between February and April 2020, as a result of the pandemic. There are many small business grants available that Black-owned businesses can turn to in order to grow and expand their businesses. We would love Black entrepreneurs to be inspired by famous Black entrepreneurs like Jay-Z, Dr Dre, Will Smith, Tyra Banks etc., and launch their own successful businesses. We have compiled a list of some business grants and funding that we think you may be interested in below.
The NBMBAA Scale-Up Pitch Challenge.
The Scale-Up Pitch Challenge was launched by the National Black MBA Association in 2017. The Association aims to make wealth-building opportunities for its members and this challenge is centered around that. It is a pitch competition where competitors will pitch their start-up ideas and are encouraged to make their ideas scalable. Participants are encouraged to think big and present their ‘Big Idea’. The challenge provides businesses with exposure to early-stage investors and venture capitalists who are ready to invest, as well as funding for its winners. The challenge is managed by Startco and participants compete in person in Chicago, IL to potentially win some of the cash funding up for grabs. There are four prizes available for winners: first place receives $50,000, second place receives $10,000, 3rd place receives $7,500 and there is a people’s choice award which awards $1,000. Learn more about The NBMBAA Scale-Up Pitch Challenge here.
Women of Color E-Lab
SheaMoisture is a global haircare brand that has created an e-learning platform for women of color entrepreneurs, in partnership with the New Voices Foundation. This platform provides women of color with education, mentorship, access to resources, and advice on how to adapt during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Upon completing their learning, participants will be to receive support in developing a COVID-19 business recovery plan and pitch for $100,000 in funding. It is a way for women of color entrepreneurs to learn and develop their skills, while benefitting from a sense of community and an environment that promotes growth and success. It is also an excellent opportunity for these women to grow and expand their businesses with the funding that they will receive. Learn more about Women of Color E-Lab here.
iFundWomen is a crowd-funding platform for women-owned businesses with many generous partners like Adidas, Visa, American Express, and more. They have a program specific to women of color called IFundWomen of Color. This program aims to help female entrepreneurs of color raise capital for their businesses through crowdfunding. The program also provides grants, coaching and helps female minority business owners build a network of connections to help grow their businesses. Learn more about iFundWomen here.