Small Business Grants for Minorities

Most budding entrepreneurs face difficulties in financing the launch of a new business or the expansion of an existing small business. In most cases, even the most promising privately owned companies are not able to secure conventional bank loans and money borrowed from family is often just not enough to get the business going. The federal government acknowledges the important role small business plays in both the state and local economy and routinely sets aside large sums of money to aid small business start-ups and expansions. While this is a tremendous help for individuals who wish to run their own company, it often still leaves those that belong to minority groups in the US at a distinct disadvantage. For this reason many grant opportunities have been developed with very specific criteria in order to include small business grants for minorities.

These and all grants can be of immense value as this method of financing is one that never has to be paid back. In many cases the granting agencies do want to see that once the grant period has expired, the company is capable of sustainability and continued growth. For this reason it is extremely important that any businesses applying for a government or other grant have a completed business plan in place.  It is also important to note that although grants are initiated by the federal government, it is through state and local agencies that they are awarded and administered. Even at the local levels, grants are not usually awarded to individuals but to the business itself. Grants are also created to serve a direct and measurable benefit to underprivileged groups or a specific community in some way. Many of these opportunities are aimed at aiding such groups as veterans, women, African Americans, Native Americans, etc. and are often designed to help individuals who belong to these groups launch or expand their own business.

When applying for one or more minority small business grants, it is crucial to read all eligibility requirements that are posted by the granting agency. If for example your proposed program provides direct services only to women over the age of 21 with HIV and the grant proposal stipulates that the program being funded must be for both men and women your application will automatically be rejected.  Likewise some grant opportunities specify that the owner of the business be of a certain minority group, or reside in a specific community. Since putting together a grant application requires considerable time and effort, it is important that the applicant fully understands and meets all eligibility requirements of the proposal.

Matching your particular skills and experience to the small business grants for minorities that are available will help you narrow your choices and save valuable time. If your expertise is in the area of providing programs for children with speech or communication disabilities, wading through pages of grants that cater to the high tech sector is not a good use of your time. The saying that suggests we strive to work smarter rather than harder is a valuable piece of advice. Knowing where to find the right grants and free professional help will go a long way to reaching your goals of becoming an independent business owner. If you belong to a minority group and aspire to own your own business, take advantage of the government’s commitment and seek out all the free help they are prepared to offer including small business grants for minorities.

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