Native American Small Business Grants

Native American small business owners may apply for various federal and state minority-owned business grants. There are also grants targeted specifically for Native American businesses through public and private agencies. Eligibility usually requires membership in a recognized tribe.

First Nations Development Institute Grants

The First Nations Development Institute provides grants for economic development directly to tribes or Native American nonprofit organizations. Its Native-Asset Building Partnership Coalition offers early investment funding to advance the growth of Native American businesses.

Rural Business Enterprise Grants

The United State Department of Agriculture's Rural Business Enterprise grants provide funds to help support and grow Native American businesses and provide jobs. Grants awarded in 2014 include $200,000 to Minnesota's White Earth Tribal Council for tribal business expansion and renovation, and $97,609 to Connecticut's Mohegan tribes for member job training.

Applications for the RBEG grants for Native Americans must be made by officials of federally recognized tribes. Amounts awarded range from $10,000 to $500,000 without a cost-sharing requirement. These applications are accepted annually through a state or local RBEG office. Deadlines for application submission vary by state.

U.S. Department of Commerce

The U.S. Department of Commerce provides a wide variety of grants for Native American job creation purposes. These grants are available to tribal governments, their members, their businesses and companies that do business with Native Americans, whether or not these businesses are located on a reservation. Grants are available for:

  • economic development
  • tourism promotion
  • infrastructure projects.

U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration generally offers loans rather than grants, but it does allocate monies for "Native American Micro Enterprise Business Services." These grants aren't available to current small businesses for expansion purposes, but they do provide executive and specialized training to qualifying applicants.

Administration for Native Americans

A subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services' Office of Children and Families, the Administration for Native Americans also offers grant opportunities in several business-related areas. These include:

  • social and economic development
  • sustainable employment
  • Native American asset building.

Projects may be eligible for funding from one to five years. ANA grants also include funding for technical help and training for project implementation.

About the Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.