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Small Business Grants for Minorities in 2022

Minority grants for small companies are an essential tool to help level the playing field in business. Startup financing has become more limited in underprivileged populations.

Miriam Elbaz
Miriam Elbaz
May 22, 2022

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Overview of Small Business Grants for Minorities

Minority grants for small companies are an essential tool to help level the playing field in business. Startup financing has become more limited in underprivileged populations. 

Banks are still refusing to lend to individuals who may benefit the most from the money 13 years after the 2008 financial crisis. This is where minority small business grants come into play.

Minority business grants are difficult to secure, but they exist and may be a useful source of cash for those awarded them. 

To assist you in learning how to acquire a minority small business grant, we decided to assemble a list of the top business grants and grant-related resources for minority-owned firms.

Best Minority Small Business Grants

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STRR) Programs

Small enterprises in cutting-edge research and development can apply for business development funds under the SBIR and STRR programs. 

Eleven federal departments, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Health and Human Services, have set aside a percentage of their research and development expenditures for this award program.

The grant qualification requirements and award amounts are primarily dependent on the program and the particular grant you're applying for. 

It would be best if you had a for-profit, American-owned, and operated small business, with the principal researcher employed by your company. Your company must also have 500 or fewer employees.

USDA WWD Loan & Grant Program

This program assists qualifying company owners who cannot access regular business finance. 

As the name implies, this program offers both grants and business loans.

To be eligible for this award program, your company must be in the water or waste disposal industry and be located in a qualifying location—a rural area or town with a population of 10,000 or fewer, tribal territories in rural areas, or colonies. 

This program is open to most state and local government organizations, private NGOs, and federally recognized tribes.

SBA 8(a) Business Development Program

This program assists small company owners who are socially or economically disadvantaged in competing for set-aside and sole-source government contracts. 

Although the SBA 8(a) program is not a grant program, it provides significant prospects for minority-owned companies. 

In addition to the real company contract, people who qualify for the program will have access to a Business Opportunity Specialist, a mentor-protégé program, business training, counseling, and executive development.

Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) Grants

The Asian American Women's Grant Committee (AWGC) awards funds to Asian American women-led organizations and individual artists in New York City. 

These scholarships are given to enterprises employing arts and culture to bring about progressive social reform, increase awareness, and action around challenges affecting Asian American women, girls, and families, and emphasize and promote women's essential role in these initiatives.

The AWGC normally gives five to eight project grants of up to $15,000 each cycle (usually yearly).

Operation HOPE Small Business Development Program

The Small Business Development initiative of Operation HOPE is intended to assist small business owners in underprivileged communities. 

The non-profit organization provides an eight-week entrepreneurship training program to minority company owners to give them business training, personal development, access to professional services, and financial assistance.

The program also assists company owners in developing and implementing a business strategy and obtaining capital and other business resources.

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

The FedEx Small Company Grant Contest is a countrywide competition that gives grants to around ten different qualified business owners every year. 

Grants range from $15,000 to $50,000, with FedEx print services worth $1,000 to $7,500.

Many of the previous grant recipients were minority-owned firms, and the funds are often offered to people with a unique company idea that significantly influences the community.

This government portal is an excellent resource for locating grants relevant to your sector and eligibility. provides eligibility requirements, application information, and deadlines for over 1,000 small business grants in total.

All federal government entities giving grants will have their information posted on this website. The Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration are among the government agencies that provide grants.

Minority-owned enterprises, in particular, may filter the search based on the category "small company" or your unique qualifying requirements, such as "Native American tribal organization" or "non-profits."

USDA Rural Business Development Grants

Do you own a company in the country? If so, you might look for the USDA's Rural Company Development Grant program, which provides small business awards ranging from $10,000 to $500,000.

This program is only offered to companies with less than 50,000 people in rural regions. Furthermore, grant funds must be utilized for projects that assist your rural community or town. 

This program is open to many organizations, including non-profit businesses, federally recognized tribes, rural cooperatives, state agencies, etc.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

The MBDA awards grants to organizations that run Minority Business Centers across the country. You can get business coaching, procurement matching, and financial aid for your minority-owned firm through one of these centers.

In addition, the MBDA has an ongoing award competition program. This initiative sought ideas in 2021 to open and run one of four MBDA Export Centers.

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program

The non-profit organization NASE administers the Growth Grants Program, which provides microgrants of up to $4,000 each. These awards are intended to assist firms in expanding.

Although NASE doesn’t only give grants for minority-owned firms, this program is meant for smaller enterprises that can’t always access other means of funding. 

Furthermore, you can utilize a NASE Growth Grant for a wide range of company activities, such as acquiring equipment, recruiting workers, or developing marketing materials.

NASE makes this funding available monthly, with applications examined quarterly.

First Nations Development Institute Grants

First Nations is a non-profit organization that administers a nationwide grantmaking program that offers native charities and tribes technical and financial assistance.

You can see current applications on the First Nations website as their available funding update.

National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Scale-Up Pitch Challenge

The NBMBAA scale-up pitch challenge is a grant competition that encourages entrepreneurs to consider innovative, scalable company concepts. 

The NBMBAA links companies with early-stage investors and venture capitalists and pitches their concepts. 

The winning company owner or team will get a $50,000 prize, second place will receive $10,000, and third place will earn $7,500. A $1,000 People's Choice Award is also offered.

This grant competition is an excellent alternative for Black-owned businesses seeking to start capital for their first venture or attempting to launch a new idea. 

To compete, you must be a member of the NBMBAA, and the tournament is held once a year.

The Bottom Line

Sign up for the grant organization's email list and follow their social media pages on Instagram and Twitter to ensure you don't miss the application seasons for small business minority funding in 2022 and beyond. 

This way, you can keep on top of the application deadlines and learn about any changes to the grant program.

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