Minority Business Grants

Minority Business Grants: Launching a new business can present many challenges for anyone but belonging to a minority group can pose additional obstacles for even the seasoned entrepreneur. No matter which minority group one belongs to, there are a number of agencies and government departments that are designed to help with locating minority grant offers, other forms of financial aid, training, free professional business advice and more.

One important factor that is often considered by a granting agency is the sustainability of a business at the end of the grant period.  A completed business plan will show grantors that the owner has a solid plan to grow the business through the grant period enabling the company to continue successfully in the long term. Finding a business that matches your skills and experience, locating the right grant opportunities and creating a business plan are the first crucial steps in becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Searching local resources is often the best place to start as the federal government filters grant money through state and local agencies who are then responsible for offering and managing these projects. Each state will have its own guidelines and opportunities specific to their respective areas. Organizations such as Fame Renaissance, Operation Hope and Brotherhood Business Development offer a wealth of information on alternate financial assistance as well as free advice to those who are looking to either launch a new minority business or expand and existing one. A wealth of information on minority business grants can also be found on the state level at the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) site.

Just as important as gathering all the information you can is, knowing where to find the right grant opportunities as well as tips on putting together a professional minority grant application package.  An unfortunate reality is that the majority of applications for minority business grants that are rejected are due to incomplete forms, missed deadlines or not meeting all the eligibility requirements. Paying attention to the following tips can help to avoid some of the common mistakes that many people make.

  • Make sure that every space on the grant application form has been filled in. If a question does not pertain to your circumstances simply insert N/A.
  • Never include anything that is not true. Answer each question to the best of your knowledge or if uncertain ask for advice or place N/A in the space.
  • Have your completed business plan handy for reference and make sure to add it to the package only if it is requested.
  • Double check all immigrant citizen and state residency requirements to ensure you meet all the specific demands of each grant you are applying for.
  • Have all your financial records complete and handy.
  • Always send your application in before the posted deadline. Applications received after the deadline will be rejected.
  • Proofread everything before it is sent in. It’s a good idea to step away from your work for a day and go back to it with a fresh mind. It is also recommended that you have someone else proofread all your work.
  • Make sure your presentation is professional. Any grant application package that is put together in a sloppy or unprofessional manner may cause the reviewing panel to be concerned that you will display the same lack of professionalism in your business.

There exists an enormous pool of money through federal, state and community organizations in the form of minority small business grants. Be sure to do your research and seek out all the free advice you can. Many local organizations offer seminars and courses at no charge that deal with all aspects of starting and running your own business. Many minority business grants are never awarded due to the simple fact that people were not even aware they existed. Knowing where to look will save you time and help narrow your search.

Remember that legitimate granting agencies will never contact you personally with offers of free money for your business nor do they charge a fee to fill out a grant application. No group or organization can ever guarantee that you will receive a grant so beware of offers that make such promises.

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