Ohio has developed grant funded business programs for women and minorities to increase minority job opportunities and to assist women who may not otherwise get the support or financing needed to start a business. The Office of Minority Financial Incentives, the Office of the Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Program, the Minority Business Enterprise Division and Small Business Development Centers fund these grant programs to support minority- and women-owned businesses in their expansion or start-up.

Ohio Minority Direct Loan Program

The Ohio Minority Direct Loan Program grants direct loans to businesses relocating or expanding into Ohio that demonstrate the creation of new jobs. Women business owners are approved for the Minority Direct Loan Program based upon the number of employees hired. Businesses must also demonstrate a need for state assistance. Women business owners must provide a business summary describing the use of funds, the loan amount needed, a request for an interest rate and loan terms, and a list of business collateral. For information on the steps required to apply for the state subsidized Ohio Minority Direct Loan Program, contact The Office of Minority Financial Incentives at 614-644-7708.

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

Community based organizations, state, military and federal grants support the national Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC), which help women businesses bid and receive government contracts and sub-contracts. In Ohio, the Minority Business Enterprise Division collaborates with the Military’s Defense Logistics Agency to assist women business owners to become military and government contractors and sub-contractors.

PTAC offers mentor programs, bid preparation assistance and personal training sessions. PTAC also hosts trade events introducing Ohio small businesses to government buyers. Women can take advantage of all PTAC services free by contacting the Office of the Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Program at 800-848-1300 or 614-466-5700.

Capital Access Program

Administered by the Minority Business Enterprise Division and established using federal and state grants, the Ohio Capital Access Program (CAP) program supports business start-ups and non-profits that are having difficulties obtaining loans from traditional lenders. This grant reserve of loans from participating lenders enables them to lend to under-qualified businesses and non-profit ventures. For more information on participating lenders and requirements for CAP, contact 800-848-1300.


The Ohio Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is grant supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. SCORE is a non-profit developed to help women and other minorities create small businesses. SCORE has a number of offices throughout Ohio in all major cities such as Akron, Cleveland, Newark and Youngstown. SCORE offers business mentors and coaches to train future business owners, help develop business ideas and obtain financing. They also offer alternative sources of financing for business start-ups that are having difficulties getting loans through conventional means. To find the local SCORE branch in your area visit SCORE.org.