Various grant opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses

If you are a woman or racial minority who runs a small business, you may be eligible for several small business grant programs. These initiatives often aim to level the playing field and support groups that have traditionally faced barriers to funding. Read about many current and ongoing grant opportunities in the list below.

MBDA Capital Readiness Program

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Development Agency is launching a nearly $100 million grant program to support women and minority entrepreneurs. The Capital Readiness Program directs between $2 million and $3 million in grants to business incubators and accelerators run by companies, nonprofits, and universities. Therefore, the funds will not go directly to small businesses from the federal government. However, recipients must use the funds to provide services that can help women- and minority-owned startups overcome structural barriers. The program will focus on several high-growth industries, including healthcare, climate technologies and infrastructure. Applications for this round are due through by February 28.

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Ladies Who Launch

Ladies Who Launch is an annual grant program that provides funding to women and non-binary small business owners. This year, 20 such businesses will receive a $10,000 grant and six months of training support. This funding round focuses on consumer packaged goods businesses with annual gross revenues between $100,000 and $499,000. March 31st is the application deadline for the current program.

Fearless Strivers Grant Contest

Mastercard partners with Fearless Fund to support black women-owned businesses. Eligible companies can now apply for $20,000 in grants, along with digital tools and mentoring opportunities. The application portal is now available online and the scheme closes on 31 August.

Amber Grant

The Amber Grant is a monthly grant program for women-owned businesses. Each month, WomensNet provides a grant of at least $30,000. And the organization hosts themed grant competitions throughout the year as well. The organization has an application form available online that will automatically enroll eligible female founders into each program for which they qualify. Winners are then notified of their prizes on the 23rd of each month.

Hi Alice

Hello Alice is a digital platform that connects various small businesses with resources, including grants. The organization works with a variety of corporate and non-profit partners on various programs and initiatives throughout the year. For example, Hello Alice is currently part of the SBA Community Navigator pilot program, working with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to help Hispanic and minority entrepreneurs navigate supply chain issues and similar challenges.

IFundWomen Universal Grant Application Database

IFundWomen offers several grant programs throughout the year for women-owned businesses and people of color. The organization offers a universal grant application that eligible businesses can use to apply for all programs at once. You can even save your information and sign up for updates, allowing you to easily apply as new programs launch.

Quick break for small business

LegalZoom, the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA G League team up to offer the Fast Break grant program for small businesses during each basketball season. The program has already provided more than $3 million in grants and other support services to eligible businesses. And minority entrepreneurs are prioritized during the application process to reach as many underserved groups as possible. The next round of funding is scheduled to begin in the summer.

Cartier Women’s Initiative Award

Cartier’s Women’s Initiative Award is an annual grant program implemented since 2006. The program supports women-owned and women-led businesses worldwide by providing grants of up to $100,000. The company is adding even more award opportunities in 2023, including several regional awards and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, which will be open to underserved entrepreneurs of all genders.

Tory Burch Fellows Program

The Tory Burch Foundation offers a scholarship program to support early-stage startups. The program includes a digital education program, peer network and $5,000 grants for fellows. The next program officially starts in the summer of 2023. And the institution will accept applications for the following year in the fall.

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