Several grant opportunities are available to serve minority populations. Many of these grants are designed to be accessed by minority entrepreneurs specifically. However, there are very few grants in place to serve and to be accessed strictly by African-American business owners. Nevertheless, black business owners can access grants that are in place to cultivate economic development among minorities in general.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund Student Entrepreneur Grant
Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Student Entrepreneur Grant is in place to award black students with entrepreneur grants for the purpose of launching new businesses. The fund is a national program aimed at encouraging young entrepreneurs to develop creative business concepts. Student entrepreneurs have historically received an individual grant award in the amount of $10,000 toward the launch of their new business.
The Social Entrepreneurship K-12 Education Fellows Program
The Social Entrepreneurship K-12 Education Fellows Program is designed to encourage African Americans to create and manage social entrepreneurship programs that focus on educational reform for grades K-12. The program is designed to be a two-year leadership and development initiative. Student entrepreneurs are awarded with up to $10,000 of loan forgiveness, social entrepreneurship training and mentoring opportunities. Paid internships are also available in Washington, New York and Boston. Applicants must be African American and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Minority Business Opportunity Committee
The objective of the Minority Business Opportunity Committee is to coordinate business resources to benefit minority entrepreneurs. Other objectives of the committee include promoting access to decision makers in the private and public sectors and to cultivate the facilitation of financial transactions among minorities. Applicants must belong to an ethnic minority group. Award amounts range between $150,000 and $300,000 per organization.
Minority Business Development
The Minority Business Development Agency of the Department of Commerce provides grants to assist the entrepreneurial efforts of minorities. The objective of the agency is to expand business services and promote mobilization of federal resources. The program also helps to identify and develop private markets and acts as a conduit of business information. Eligible applicants may be awarded up to $300,000 for a specific program.