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Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses

Reviewed by Ty Crandall

November 7, 2023
Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses Credit Suite

Check out Top Grants for Small Blacked Owned Businesses and So Much More

Are you one of the millions of black business owners in the US? Or are you starting a business? Money is always going to be an issue. What if you could get what is essentially free money? That’s what grants are (for the most part). Yes, you can get grants for small black owned businesses.

Looking for Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses – and Other Options

How do you find the best options for you?  How do you know if you need to be looking for grants or business loans? We recommend that you explore every option. This is because it will probably take a combination of funding options to fully fund your business.

Check out our Credit Suite Credit Line Hybrid, where you can get up to $150,000 to help your business thrive.

Funding and Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses

There are grants for black business owners, but not necessarily for them exclusively. Still, there are other funding choices out there. Loans, crowdfunding, also angel investors are all viable options. More on those later.

Check out our Credit Suite Credit Line Hybrid, where you can get up to $150,000 to help your business thrive.

Business Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses

The government and private organizations want to GIVE you money! Though highly competitive and rarely enough to fund a business on their own, grants are a great way to supplement other business funding. And they are still worth the effort to apply. There really isn’t anything to lose except time – it’s free money. Here are a few you can start with.

The Minority Business Development Agency

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is operated by the US Department of Commerce. It is dedicated to helping minority-owned businesses access the resources they need to grow and succeed. The MBDA is for both men and women. Grant competitions are regularly changing.

Visit the MBDA’s website for information on all current opportunities. Currently, the MBDA helps its members apply for grants via Grants.gov. This also involves help with how to apply for government grants. See mbda.gov/grants.

Enterprising Women of Color Initiative

Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses Credit SuiteThe MBDA also oversees the Enterprising Women of Color (EWOC) Initiative. The initiative works to focus on the fast-expanding minority women entrepreneur population as a revenue generators for families, communities, and the nation.

Minority women are the fastest growing population of entrepreneurs. While many women are making tremendous strides in the business world, they still face obstacles as entrepreneurs.

MBDA serves as an advocate for women’s economic empowerment, by supporting efforts to advance women’s equality and promote women economic advancement programming. The vision of EWOC is to ensure women worldwide to reach their economic potential. See mbda.gov.

The Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

The Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund is new. It was established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund offers $10,000 to successful applicants. The fund is specifically focused on providing grants to business owners of color, women-owned businesses, and other underrepresented entrepreneurs.

See lisc.org/covid-19/small-business-assistance/small-business-relief-grants/verizon-small-business-recovery-fund

National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge

Also known as NBMBAA, the Scale-Up Pitch Challenge has cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. The association states its purpose is to help newer businesses that have an African American ownership. This is a pitch competition for startup businesses. See nbmbaa.org/scale-up-pitch-challenge.

Amber Grant

Black businesswomen have even more options open to them. The Amber Grant awards one prize of $10,000 per month to a woman-owned business. One of the recipients also receives an additional $25,000 grant at the end of the year. Applicants only need to tell their story and turn it in with a $15 application fee. See ambergrantsforwomen.com/get-an-amber-grant/apply-now

Cartier Women’s Initiative Award

Black businesswomen can also try for a Cartier award. This award is for women and there’s no specification that a woman be a member of a minority group. The Cartier Women’s Initiative Award has a regional category award and a science and technology award. The regional award is $100,000 for first place, with $30,000 for second and third place.

The award goes to three women from each of seven international regions. This award is a grant to 21 female business owners from around the world each year. Women business owners who are just getting started may qualify. Look over the complete application for more information. See cartierwomensinitiative.com/about-us

Cartier Science and Technology Pioneer Award and Fellowship

The Cartier Science and Technology Pioneer award is new as of 2021. With this award, three more women impact entrepreneurs at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation will be recognized for a new thematic award.

Open to women entrepreneurs from any country and sector, this award will highlight disruptive solutions built around unique, protected, or hard-to-reproduce technological or scientific advances.

The laureate will be awarded a $100,000 grant. Each of the two remaining finalists will receive a $30,000 grant.

Cartier also offers a fellowship program. The fellowship is an educational program geared towards the 24 fellows selected each year. This program aims to equip the fellows with the necessary skills to grow their business. Also, it helps them to build their leadership capacity by drawing upon the experience and expertise of an array of academics, practitioners, industry experts, and entrepreneurs.

The fellowship isn’t exactly a grant. But while it’s not a monetary award, the mentoring and networking opportunities could be worthwhile to apply for. See cartierwomensinitiative.com/fellowship-programme.

Grow by Invoice2go

So, we recently learned about this great award from Invoice2go. This brand-new grant is Invoice2go’s “way of recognizing the contributions and untapped potential of small business owners from underrepresented groups.”

Winners will receive up to $15,000 to grow their companies. And they can also join the greater Invoice2go community of business owners — 50% who identify as women or BIPOC — for support and insight. Furthermore, they will also gain access to exclusive workshops to help them win more work, build deeper customer relationships, simplify operations, and more.


  1. You must be an owner of a business, a legal U.S. resident, and must be 18 years or older.
  2. The business must be majority-owned by a legal U.S. resident who identifies as one or more of these: Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Latino, Native American or Alaska Native, Arab or Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, or as a person with a disability.
  3. The business must be less than 5 years old, have no more than 10 employees, and have annual revenue equal to or less than $1M.


Complete an entry form on the Invoice.2go site and in 200 words or less, explain your business and how winning would support your business and community.

Awards of up to $15,000 will be selected each month for a total of twenty awards. There are monthly deadlines for application submissions to be considered.

The Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Grant

Are you also part Native American? Then check out this grant.

The NABDI Grant is funded by the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. It provides funding to business owners of Native American or Alaskan Native descent. In 2019, the program provided more than $727,000 to 21 indigenous tribes, to support economic feasibility studies for specific economic development projects or business startups.

For 2020, NABDI planned to award 20-25 grants. There is no minimum or maximum amount of funding that can be requested, but most awards range in value from $25,000 to $75,000. They only fund projects for one year at a time, which is when they expect projects to be completed. To apply for a NABDI grant for your proposed economic development feasibility study, go to bia.gov/service/grants/tedc/apply-nabdi-grant.

Indian Affairs

For black business owners who also have Native American heritage, it doesn’t stop there. There is more available via the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Businesses owned by Native Americans can get financing from the federal government through the Indian Affairs branch. An individual can fill out an application for up to $500,000, but business entities and tribal enterprises may apply for more.

Potential borrowers can apply with any lending institution, they just have to use the application for Indian Affairs. There are additional requirements if you use the funds for construction, renovation, or refinancing. In general, you must supply a list of collateral, a credit report, and an analysis of business operations. See bia.gov/as-ia/ieed/loan-guaranty-insurance-and-interest-subsidy-program.

The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund

If your business is in the arts, and you’re also of South Asian descent, then check out this fund. The fund is run by the India Center Foundation. It supports US-based South Asian arts workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund will disburse grants up to $2,000, depending on financial need to US-based arts workers of South Asian descent. This includes those in the performing arts, film, visual arts, and literature with heritage from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. I

nitial funding for the program is $20,000, but the India Center Foundation is soliciting donations to expand the grant program.

Eligibility for The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund

To be eligible, applicants must be of South Asian descent. Also, they must work in the arts and demonstrate loss of income due to COVID-19. Also, applicants must be at least 21 years old. And they cannot be enrolled in a degree program. Also, they have to be able to receive taxable income in the US.

You can put grant funding toward any artistic project you can develop, create, and present within four to six weeks of getting funding. See theindiacenter.us/artsfund.


Grants.gov is a running list of over 1,000 available federal government grants. The website compiles grants from over two dozen government agencies. These include the SBA, USDA, and the US Department of Commerce. To find a grant right for your business, use the Search Grants tool on the website. You can sort through the list of grants by keyword or opportunity number.

Once you have located the grant you wish to apply for, click the opportunity number for more detail. There, you will find more information about the specific grant as well as any documentation you may need. To apply for a grant through Grants.gov, you must first register. Then, you can download an application package for the grant you want to get. But also be ready for a lengthy process. See grants.gov.

Check out our Credit Suite Credit Line Hybrid, where you can get up to $150,000 to help your business thrive.

An Alternative to Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses: Angel Investors

Angel investors are informal investors. So essentially, you sell a part of your business to them. Also, they tend to not want a huge percentage of your business. Also, they won’t pass by more conventional businesses, like with crowdfunding and venture capital. Hence they can be another supplement or replacement for grants.

An Alternative to Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses: Crowdfunding

If you would rather not rely on grants so much to fund your business, crowdfunding is a viable option. Also keep in mind, not everyone with a campaign on a crowdfunding site is successful. More unique products and services tend to do better. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the most popular crowdfunding platforms to use. Some platforms may have higher success rates than others.

An Alternative to Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses: Loans

But if grants aren’t an option, loans might work for you.

Business Center for New Americans

If you’re also an immigrant, try the Business Center for New Americans. They offer a pilot program for microloans up to $75,000. They work with immigrants, refugees, women, and also other minority entrepreneurs. The goal is to help minority business owners who have not been able to get traditional financing. Also, terms are 3% interest. Loan repayment term goes up to a year. See accompanycapital.org.

Grants for Small Black Owned Businesses:  Takeaways

There are several options for grants for black owned businesses. Black entrepreneurs should apply for whichever grants they feel they are most likely to get. Other options for funding include crowdfunding, angel investors, and loans. Also, as always, Credit Suite can help you get the funding you need.

About the author 

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Janet Gershen-Siegel is the seasoned Finance Writer and a former content manager at Credit Suite. She has been admitted to practice law for over 30 years, with a focus on litigation and product liability, and is a published author, with writing credits at Entrepreneur, FedSmith.com and BusinessingMag.com.

She has a BA in Philosophy from Boston University, a JD from the Delaware Law School of Widener University, and a MS in Interactive Media (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University.

She regularly writes for Credit Suite, which helps businesses improve Fundability™, build credit, and get approved for loans and credit lines.

Her specialties: business credit, business credit cards, business funding, crowdfunding, and law

  1. I’m lookin for grants for my business. If you could help it would be greatly appreciated l..

    1. Hi and thanks for contacting us!

      I have asked for someone from our team to reach out to you.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for commenting. I’ve passed your message along and someone from Credit Suite will be contacting you.

      Best of luck with your business.

  2. Hi, I’m looking for funding for astzft up business in the transportation industry. Can you help.
    My name is Terry Caldwell.
    [email protected]

    Can you help me?


    1. Hi Terry,

      Thanks so much for commenting. I have reached out to our team and someone will be in contact with you soon.

      Best of luck with your businesss.

      ~ Janet

  3. Hello,

    I’ll be launching both a pop-up events site (picnics), as well as a rock/geodes/raw stones/gems/crystals shoppe. In searching a business plan, it appears the events is not that familiar to most. As for the crystal shoppe I did see a code for ‘crystalline, wholesale/retail. Would that quantify as low risk? What would you use for the pop-up events site?
    I’d appreciate your insight and a much needed time saver in seeking a code 😉

    Thanks in advance for reading my inquiry as well as your time & expertise.

    1. Hi – a tour of the NAICS site (which also shows SIC codes; very handy) tells me that SIC code 5999 (Miscellaneous Retail Stores, Not Elsewhere Classified) includes Stones, crystalline: rough—retail. Which would fit.

      Not so fast.

      This corresponds to NAICS code 453998 (All Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers (except Tobacco Stores)). And that code, 453998, is listed on the NAICS’s only official list of high risk codes.

      Going with any kind of jewelry store is also problematic. Codes 423940 (Jewelry, Watch, Precious Stone, and Precious Metal Merchant Wholesalers) and 448310 (Jewelry Stores) are also on the high risk codes list. So I would say that it’s clear that you should not be using either of them.

      But all is not lost!

      If you do any designing of the stones, such as making jewelry, then 541490 (Other Specialized Design Services) could fit. It specifically includes “jewelry design services”. There’s also 423520 (Coal and Other Mineral and Ore Merchant Wholesalers), which includes “precious metal ores merchant wholesalers). That may work if you’re selling any platinum, gold, silver, or copper.

      As for the events, I believe this code will work for you for events: 561920 (Convention and Trade Show Organizers). That listing specifically includes “craft fair promoters” and “trade fair promoters” which seems to correspond to what you’re doing. It’s not on the high risk codes list, so yay for that.

      The bottom line is to think about businesses where there’s a higher chance of injury to the workers or the public (like casinos) and/or there are a lot of cash transactions (like convenience stores). Those are pretty much always going to be labeled as high risk. Even if they’re not on the official list, someone in the business of, say, juggling chainsaws for the circus, would be high risk no matter what. Jewelry hits the dollar issue, because even without a lot of cash transactions, someone can always sell gold or gems. The NAICS doesn’t seem to distinguish between precious and semiprecious stones, so garnet sales are treated like diamond sales, so far as they’re concerned.

      Events work better because the way the codes are structured, I believe you can label yourself a promoter, particularly if the events are a vehicle for marketing the goods you sell in the shop.

      Hope this helps! Best of luck with your businesses.

  4. Thank you for the leads. Can someone please reach out to me and assist with next steps.

    1. Hi and thank you for contacting us.

      I have passed your info along and someone from our team should be reaching out to you shortly.

  5. Hello, my Name is Micheline Maceus. I am looking for a grant to grow my business. I have open a Multi service business and it’s so hard to afford marketing to grow. I do Notary, Notary signing Agent, Immigration form specialist, credit restoration, taxes and more. If I get the grant I would put toward advertising and paying the office space. As a single m other I got tired of working paycheck to paycheck. a grant would really get me on the right path for 2022.

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