How Can I Find Minority Business Grants?

Minority small business owners and entrepreneurs can get a financial boost through a combination of private loans and government business grants. If you need start-up capital or loans, these tips will get you started finding grant money.

Contact local minority small business associations in your area. Many minority owners of small businesses have been able to get their companies off the ground through the help of government and private grants. Other business owners can direct you to resources that they themselves used. You can try to network through your church, an ethnic culture center in your area, or even online.

Find organizations that represent your field of commerce. For example, if your business is transporting goods, contact your state's dept of transportation about grant opportunities. If you run an environmental or "green" business, contact EPA-related organizations to ask about grants for minorities. There are many little-known funding opportunities that go unnoticed, simply because no one has ever asked before. State and local government agencies have a surprising number of untapped resources for business grants.

Visit the website of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, or CDFA for short. Click on the "programs" tab and select the advanced search options. You will see several pull-down menus to help you refine search results for state and federal business grants targeted to minorities, veterans, and those with disabilities.

Some of the small business grants have no strings attached, others may have several requirements on how the money is spent. You can also find special low-interest business loans for minorities.

Another government website to check out is that of the Small Business Administration, or SBA for short. You can find private lenders who many have special programs for minority-owned small businesses.

Many private foundations offer fellowships and grants for training and research projects. Visit the website of Foundation Center to find private institutions that fund special projects and businesses.

Even if your business is not minority-owned, you may still be eligible for minority business grants if a significant part of your workforce is minority, female, or special needs. Keep an open mind when hiring.

© Had2Know 2010