Each business can experience its own hardship, and for those situations, there are grants available for veteran-, minority- and women-owned businesses that might otherwise fail in the start-up or that need help sustaining or expanding the business. The U.S. Small Business Administration also provides tips on starting a business, financing a business and applying for grants. As with any program, grants for minorities and women focus on a niche idea or industry, so find a federal program or local non-profit that shares similar interests with your business.
The federal government isn’t the only institution that gives to small businesses. Local and state non-profits often have funding and resource programs available for start-up companies, as well as discount programs or partnership deals. These partnerships trade resources rather than money since a small business is likely to be more financially insecure. For example, a family-owned electronics business may provide computers for a small community council. The council uses the much-needed technology while promoting the family’s business in its network and giving the family business free services or large discounts. This way, both companies see a benefit in the partnership without spending money needed for other areas of the businesses.
Grants for minorities
Many programs are available to help start or expand minority-owned businesses. A majority of the programs offer consultation, conferences and resources for a small business to become successful. Some programs also offer technology, funding and grants for minorities in specialized areas, such as businesses in underdeveloped communities or minority-owned businesses that support a community.
- The Idea Cafe offers a grant for anyone who has owned a small business for at least six months.
- The SBA promotes economic development through the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting program.
- The SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs is dedicated to finding resources and tools to help minority-owned businesses succeed.
Women-owned business grant opportunities
Opportunities for women-owned businesses include start-up and expansion grants and resources. There are many programs for women who are seeking further educational opportunities, as well as women-owned businesses that give back to the community or focus on the family.
- The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program provides grant funding to women who have innovative start-up ideas or who want to expand on business ideas that will benefit families.
- Women In Defense offers resources and scholarships to working women who are attending school to advance in the defense field.
- The SBA offers loans, educational resources and federal contracting programs to women-owned businesses. It also includes tips for writing proposals and grant applications.
Grants for businesses owned by veterans
Veterans who decide to operate their own business are continuing their service to their country. And to thank these veterans, and encourage them to succeed, local, state and federal programs are available for veteran-owned businesses.
- BusinessUSA offers a listing of state and federal loans, grants and venture capital opportunities.
- The Office of Veterans Business Development is dedicated to finding and applying programs that benefit veteran-owned businesses.
- A variety of loans and assistance programs can be found at SBA.
Many grant programs do not have restrictions prohibiting women-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses from applying, so research any grant that fits the niche of your business for funding opportunities. It is important to find a variety of funding opportunities because while resources are available, it is not necessary that your company receive specific grants for minorities.