Minority Government Grants
To increase the number of opportunities for minorities the federal government decided to offer minority government grants to qualifying individuals for the purposes of business startup, postsecondary education, training, etc. The government grants for minorities also extend to businesses. To encourage minority entrepreneurship within the United States, the federal government offers minority grants, to those minorities that hold over 51% ownership in a company. Before a business can apply for minority grants, an MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) application must be completed and approved by the appropriate government agency. Many minority business owners do not apply for minority government grants due to the amount of paperwork involved with registering as a minority. This process can be challenging and lengthy. Once the registration is completed, the challenge is identifying grants for minorities. Some funding sources will only give minority grants to not-for-profits or local governmental entities, who in turn utilize the funds to provide technical assistance to minority businesses.
For assistance in receiving grants for minorities dealing with business startup or expansion, contact the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA does not give out minority grants directly to small businesses or individuals, but they are willing to assist you with identifying minority grant opportunities, financing, planning, and a variety of other activities.
The important thing to remember is that most grants are not just for minorities. You may receive additional consideration for being a minority, but others may be allowed to apply. Often the minority business/individual will receive additional points during the scoring process of the minority grant application. For all grant opportunities, the best website to visit is www.grants.gov. This website serves as a search engine for individuals looking for minority grant opportunities, since all federal agencies streamline their grants through this system. The registration process for www.grants.gov is lengthy and can take up to 90 days, depending upon how quickly you can obtain the needed information. There are also two other agencies that you will have to register with before you can complete the registration process – Dunn and Brad Street and Central Contractors Registration.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain government grants for minorities. Minority government grants are becoming more widely sought, thus more competitive. With this in mind, make sure you follow all the guidelines and to write the application for your minority government grant compellingly and accurately.