Every single entrepreneur has been there: that moment when you have to figure out where you will get your funding from. It can be a real challenge to face. You need money for everything, from supplies to rent to salaries to R&D — but you already know this because you’ve been through it all. Pitching to angel investors is always a roll of the dice. And investing in your business against your own equity can be risky.
For many new and developing businesses, one answer may come in the way of grants or other forms of material and intellectual assistance. Numerous organizations award funds to help get the enterprise off the ground. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new restaurant, clothier, or education hub. All sorts of programs are out there to give a helping hand to hard-working folks with good ideas and solid business plans. Of course, it’s a competitive process, and you’re sure to go up against many others looking for the same thing.
For Latinos, the competition can face additional headwinds. Those looking for resources and grants for Hispanic-owned businesses may have to deal with indifference or worse. Fortunately, there are many grants out there that have incentives and programs to help this community find the money it needs to act on its entrepreneurial spirit. Here are a few to check out as you hunt for backing for your business.
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
One of the most venerable and robust Hispanic business owners’ groups, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, provides all manner of assistance. Small businesses in the American Hispanic community have relied on the USHCC for decades, counting almost 5 million Hispanic organizations in their portfolio over the years. Working with the internationally renowned Wells Fargo financial services company, small business grants are amply funded, making applying here well worth a try. The range is typically from $5,000 to $15,000, an important start to seed a fledgling enterprise.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
There are a number of government agencies that Hispanic-owned businesses can turn to for grants and resources. The Minority Business Development Agency (or MBDA) works with the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide all kinds of important assistance and funds. Employing business experts at local MBDA offices, Latino entrepreneurs can find advocates and counselors to help penetrate new markets and grant access to multiple funding channels: loans, grants, and government contracts. Geared to serve minority communities, the MBDA is an excellent agency to turn to.
While technically not a government agency, SCORE is a non-profit organization that works as a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Public funds go into this amazing group constituted of tens of thousands of volunteers trying to help businesses get off the ground. This includes allocating funds to help Hispanic businesses secure loans to grow and prosper. SCORE’s user-friendly website can be accessed in English and Spanish, giving Hispanic business owners their choice in progressing on the site. You can find workshops, mentorships, low-interest loans, and more opportunities on the road to success.
If you are running a small Hispanic-owned business and need some fast cash without dealing with high-interest loans, the non-profit Accion is worth checking out. As an eminent funder of Latino and other minority enterprises, this financial institution offers loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 with 5.99% interest rates in many cases. There are eligibility requirements, and you have to have a business that’s already proven itself to some degree. But it’s a great option for growing. Their website can also be accessed in English or Spanish.
As the website name implies here, Grants.gov is a major go-to for folks seeking grants of all kinds. There are plenty of equal opportunities for Hispanic-owned businesses to access grant funds across the site. There are a few requirements to keep in mind, such as having a Dun & Bradstreet number. But with thousands of grants funded by billions of dollars, Grants.gov is an excellent public resource that Latino entrepreneurs can access.
Dedicated to seeing economic growth in Latino communities, Digitalundivided is a bountiful non-profit resource for Hispanic women to access market penetration funds. With a multitude of programs to choose from, ranging from business brand new ideas in their “Start” program to their C-suite development initiatives, they seek to stoke untapped innovation from the community. Based in New Jersey, their offerings span the U.S., making it well worth investigating.
Moving away from non-profits, we turn to Camino Financial. The community-renowned Los Angeles firm’s entire mission has always been to help Hispanic entrepreneurs acquire low-cost loans. While there are some requirement hurdles, including minimum sales figures, Camino offers stunningly affordable loans with interest rates as low as 1%. It’s a family business built on their own Hispanic family business story, so they invest in helping Latinos on many levels. As of 2022, they have offered loans as high as $400,000 — and that’s more than just a little help!