Minority Business Grants

Posted on by ShabirM

Minority Business Grants are not plentiful.  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 provide minority business grants, other forms of financial aid, training, free professional business advice and more.

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 business projects. Each state 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 (Minority Business Grants) or expand an 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 is gathering all the information you can, it is also important to know where to find the right grant opportunities as well as tips on putting together a professional grant application package. An unfortunate reality is that the majority of applications for minority business grants that gets 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.

  • Always send your application before the posted deadline. Applications received after the deadline will be rejected.
  • Never include anything that is not true. Answer each question to the best of your knowledge and if uncertain, ask for advice or write N/A in the space provided.
  • Have your completed business plan handy for reference and make sure to add it to the package only if it is requested.
  • Make sure that every space on the grant application form has been filled. If a question does not pertain to your circumstances, simply write N/A.
  • Double check all immigrant citizen and state residency requirements to ensure you meet all the specific demands of each grant you are applying for.
  • Proofread everything before it is sent. It’s a good idea to stay 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 looking. Any grant application package that is put together in a sloppy or unprofessional manner may cause the reviewing panel to feel that you will display the same unprofessionalism in your business.

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 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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