8 Grants for Black entrepreneurs
Starting a business isn’t easy or cheap. Financing your business dream can be the most challenging part. There are many options, but the best one is grants – infusions of cash that you don’t have to pay back. There are many grants available - here’s what we found to support Black-owned small businesses.
Here are some grant opportunities for Black entrepreneurs
Fast Break for Small Business provides $6 million in grants and services to support small businesses in underserved and underrepresented communities. The program, a collaboration by LegalZoom, the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League, accepts applications for $10,000 grants and up to $500 in LegalZoom services two times per year. Applications reopen during the 2022-2023 NBA season, and you can sign up on the website to be notified.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) programs provide awards for companies to participate in Federal research and development, potentially to commercialize their product. Businesses collaborate with a research institution in order to explore the potential of the technology. The program fosters innovation, particularly among people of color, women, and people with disabilities.
The Power Forward Small Business Grant, a collaboration of Vistaprint, the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, and the NAACP, provides $25,000 grants to Black-owned small businesses in New England on a rolling basis. Grant recipients can be featured on co-branding platforms nationwide and receive marketing and design resources to help their businesses grow.
The Sage Invest in Progress Grant is a partnership between Sage and the BOSS network which will provide 25 grants of $10,000 each to Black women entrepreneurs. Applicants must have been in business no longer than five years. Grant recipients will also receive a 12-month program of education and mentorship, providing coaching and connections and removing barriers to capital.
Grants for specific industries
Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice partners with Heinz and the Lee Initiative to provide grants and other support to Black-owned businesses across the country. In 2022, the organization provided grants of $15,000 to $25,000 to Black-owned existing and startup food businesses. Watch the website for information on applying for the 2023 grant cycle.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotch provides $10,000 grants to multicultural entrepreneurs. The scotch whiskey company was founded by a Cuban American, and the program is dedicated to supporting people of color on their entrepreneurial journey, and is a partnership with Hello Alice, which works with corporations and organizations to provide grants, financing, and support to small businesses. Last year’s deadline was at the end of September, so start looking for this year’s applications in the spring or early summer.
NAACP X Bacardi: Backing the B.A.R. provides grants to Black-owned businesses that are in the hospitality industry, specifically bars, restaurants, nightclub, liquor stores, etc. The initiative also provides education, business solutions, and mentorship in areas like applying for a liquor license, managing the supplier and distributor landscape, bartender training, pour profit, and more.
#BlackVisionaries Program provides grants to Black artists, designers, and creatives, including Black-led design businesses, in partnership with Instagram and the Brooklyn Museum. Each grant recipient also receives mentorship through Mobile Makers. Last year’s applications opened in June and were due in July, so check the website for this year’s details.
If you don’t receive a grant, or if the grant you were awarded is less than you need, here are some other financing options you can consider.
Hello Alice administers many grant programs (including some of those listed above), and also provides a Small Business Financing Marketplace to help you find a loan.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) does not lend money, but it will guarantee your loan, taking most of the risk off the lender. This makes it easier for many businesses to qualify for a business loan. Use their Lender Match tool on the website to find a lender that may offer you a loan.
America’s SBDC (Small Business Development Centers) offers no-cost business consulting and low-cost training to current and prospective business owners, including advice on access to capital. There are nearly 1,000 local SBDC chapters, and they are often located at local colleges and universities.
Having business insurance is a good way to show potential donors and lenders that you understand the risks involved in running a business, and you’re taking steps to protect yourself against them. Find out what kind of insurance you need and get a quote today.