Getting a Minority Grant for First-Time Business Owners - What You Need to Know
A minority grant is a type of grant offered for members of a certain minority, such as Native Americans, individuals of Hispanic descent or even those belonging to LGBT groups. While minority grants made available by academic institutions are common, the Federal Government and many other institutions also provide aspiring business owners belonging to various minorities with the opportunity to receive aid for launching and managing their first business.
Who Can Provide You with a Minority Grant?
It is a common misconception that the Federal Government offers standard grants to assist small business owners in starting a more successful endeavor, regardless of their background and conditions. State and local governments, charitable institutions, educational organizations and nonprofit start-ups all qualify for Federal Grants in the form of small business loans that can assist with their start-up costs, however, minority business owners can also get opportunity grants and programs facilitating small business financial assistance. USDA, SBA, state grants and various other options - like the Amber Foundation grant launched in 1998 for women interested in launching new ventures - are some of the most important sources of new business financial aid.
Business Grants vs. Low-Interest Business Loans
An alternative to a minority grant is to apply for a low-interest business loan. First-time business owners are commonly provided with support by most banks and financial institutions when they apply for these types of financing solutions. However, for minorities the limitations and difficulties that a business loan would entail can be problematic. The SBA (Small Business Administration) provides both grants and business loans that allow for lighter eligibility requirements, ensuring that minorities - most especially women and members of ethnic minorities - can receive enough money. The SBA Grant allows even "microenterprise" organizations to launch their business endeavor more easily, especially if the business owner is female or a Native American.
Rural and State Grant Programs
If you live in the countryside, the Rural Business Opportunity Grant facilitated by the US Department of Agriculture is one of the best options to consider. The grant offers financial aid and training primarily to Native Americans, non-profits and cooperatives associated with new or ongoing business development. State grants are also available for each state in part, targeting business development within the region in question. One of the best examples of a state minority grant is the program developed by the Iowa Department of Economic Development, mainly targeting women, disabled individuals and other minorities that operate at least 51% of the business.