Minority Small Business Grants

Minority Small Business Grants may not be plentiful but are still available. Financing the start-up of a new company or the expansion of an already existing one is often the biggest challenge even the most seasoned entrepreneurs face. Minority small business grantsare designed to help individuals who would otherwise not have the means to start a viable business in becoming business owners. All levels of government as well as many large corporations understand the tremendous financial and social contribution made to communities by privately owned small businesses. With this in mind, a wide array of minority small business grants are available to individuals who wish to start or expand a business that in some way benefits his or her community or state.

Although the federal government does set aside money for small business grants, these funds are filtered through state and local agencies which are responsible for administering them and making them available to the public. These grant opportunities are designed to be used for innovative research and development projects or for programs that directly involve members of a community resulting in a positive benefit to them.

The government’s objective in providing minority small business grants and other forms of low interest financing are to enhance the lives of underprivileged minority members of society as well as funding specific, innovative research and development projects. There are generally strict guidelines regarding eligibility and what the money being awarded can to be used for. The most popular types of businesses that meet the required criteria tend to be ones involved in the technology sector, education, public housing, medicine and the Arts and Humanities.

A small sample of government grants opportunities that are funded by federal government agencies are:

  • Science, Technology and the Environment

o   The National Institute of Standards and Technology

o   Environmental Protection Agency

o   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

o   National Science Foundation

  • Arts, Humanities and Education

o   Institute of Museum and Library Services

o   U.S. Department of  Education

o   National Archives and Records Administration

o   National Endowment for the Humanities

o   National Endowment for the Arts

  • Health and Medicine

o   National Institutes of Health

o   U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration

o   National Cancer Institute

  • Community and Social Services

o   U.S. Department of Justice

o   U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

o   U.S. Department of Labor

Once you have decided on an area of business that is best suited to your skills and experience you can begin searching for the Minority Small Business Grants that fall into your business’s specific category. This can of course be a difficult and time consuming task as there are hundreds of state and local government agencies as well as many large corporations that offer minority small business grants. The key will be in knowing where to find the right minority grants, how to avoid the many grant scams that exist as well as how to create a professional business plan. Understanding which businesses are more likely to get grants, matching your skills to the many minority small business grants available and having a completed, professional business plan will greatly increase your chances of success. Remember that no legitimate granting agency will ever approach you personally with offers of free money nor can anyone guarantee that you will receive a favorable response to any grant application.

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