There are plenty of opportunities to secure a Black-owned business grant these days. That’s because countless organizations and private companies have stepped up to set funding aside for the advancement of Black entrepreneurs in recent years.
And these initiatives are more important now than ever. According to the NAACP, less than 5% of American businesses are Black-owned. With such a tiny fraction of the American marketplace controlled by Black entrepreneurs, it’s difficult to make an impact. But critical funding through Black-owned business grants can help to change that.
So, if you’re a Black entrepreneur, you might be wondering where do I begin?
In this article, we’ll review some of the top Black-owned business grants available. We’ll also cover other resources that Black entrepreneurs can take advantage of to secure their futures and achieve their dreams.
Black Owned Business Grants
Some of the most popular Black-owned business grants available are the Coalition to Back Black Business Grant, the NAACP “Power Forward” Small Business Grant, and the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator program.
Here is more information on each of them:
Coalition to Back Black Business Grant
The Coalition to Back Black Business (CBBB) grant is a fund created to support Black-owned businesses. The CBBB was founded in partnership with American Express in 2020 in response to financial challenges faced by many Black-owned businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant provides money to help businesses with operating expenses, such as rent, utilities, and payroll. Additionally, it can be used to help companies with marketing and advertising expenses. To date, the CBBB has awarded over $1 million in grants to Black-owned businesses.
“Power Forward” NAACP Small Business Grant
In partnership with Vistaprint and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, the NAACP offers a small business grant for qualifying Black entrepreneurs. The “Power Forward” grant is designated for Black-owned businesses in New England and accepts applications on a rolling basis.
Winners of this grant contest will be awarded $25,000. You can apply here for the NAACP “Power Forward” small business grant.
Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator
The Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator program, in partnership with gener8tor, invests in startups with Black founders. Recipients of this grant will be awarded $100,000 of venture capital money from Northwestern Mutual.
Four strategic startup areas are considered for this grant money: Fintech, digital health, insurtech, and data analytics.
In addition to grant money, recipients of this grant will receive $1 million in deals and perks, a co-working space, and a 12-week mentorship program.
Additional Resources for Black-Owned Business Grants & Other Support
There are more ways to secure funding and resources than through Black-owned business grants. Consider working with organizations like SCORE, a nonprofit that offers free business counseling and mentoring services to Black entrepreneurs. There is also the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), both of which can support Black-owned businesses with funding and non-financial aid.
Or explore resources, such as Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator. This program invests in Black sellers who are just starting out on the Amazon platform.
Finally, your local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations can be great sources of information on Black business grants and resources.
Let’s explore each of these additional resources in more detail:
SCORE is a nonprofit organization that offers free business counseling and mentoring services to Black-owned businesses. You can enroll in workshops or find a mentor through SCORE’s Black Entrepreneurs portal.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is a federal agency that provides financial assistance, contract opportunities, and business counseling to Black-owned businesses. You can browse its grant projects here.
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) is a nonprofit organization that connects minority-owned businesses with corporate members interested in diversity initiatives. It offers multiple sponsorship opportunities to Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses.
Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator
Amazon will award Black sellers a $500 credit and enhanced digital certifications when they sign up through the Black Business Accelerator. Additionally, Black entrepreneurs will receive coaching as well as marketing and advertising support.