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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 NativeAmericans, individuals of Hispanic descent or even those belonging to LGBT groups. Whileminority grants made available by academic institutions are common, the FederalGovernment and many other institutions also provide aspiring business owners belonging tovarious minorities with the opportunity to receive aid for launching and managing their firstbusiness.

Who Can Provide You with a Minority Grant?

It is a common misconception that the Federal Government offers standard grants to assistsmall business owners in starting a more successful endeavor, regardless of their backgroundand conditions. State and local governments, charitable institutions, educational organizationsand nonprofit start-ups all qualify for Federal Grants in the form of small business loans thatcan assist with their start-up costs, however, minority business owners can also getopportunity grants and programs facilitating small business financial assistance. USDA, SBA,state grants and various other options – like the Amber Foundation grant launched in 1998 forwomen interested in launching new ventures – are some of the most important sources ofnew 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-timebusiness owners are commonly provided with support by most banks and financial institutionswhen they apply for these types of financing solutions. However, for minorities the limitationsand difficulties that a business loan would entail can be problematic. The SBA (SmallBusiness Administration) provides both grants and business loans that allow for lightereligibility requirements, ensuring that minorities – most especially women and members ofethnic minorities – can receive enough money. The SBA Grant allows even “microenterprise”organizations to launch their business endeavor more easily, especially if the business owneris female or a Native American.

Rural and State Grant Programs

If you live in the countryside, the Rural Business Opportunity Grant facilitated by the USDepartment of Agriculture is one of the best options to consider. The grant offers financial aidand training primarily to Native Americans, non-profits and cooperatives associated with newor 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 astate minority grant is the program developed by the Iowa Department of EconomicDevelopment, mainly targeting women, disabled individuals and other minorities that operateat least 51% of the business.

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