Keeping your business afloat can be hard and it’s even more challenging when the economy is hella chaotic.
Times are tough for small businesses but there are companies, non-profits, and government programs out there who can help with grants, and provide access to resources which can help you connect with potential investors 🎉
In honor of Small Business Saturday, we’ve rounded up a list of grants which could be available to you.
But first off, here’s a little history lesson.
What is Small Business Saturday?
In the midst of 2010’s recession, American Express came up with a way to bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.
✨ Small Business Saturday ✨
It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving where we can support small businesses and help communities thrive.
We love it to see it.
It falls on the day after Black Friday and it’s basically the independent version of what major retailers do on Black Friday.
And if you’re a qualifying small business and not yet on the AMEX Shop Small map, add your listing and get the exposure you deserve.
Alright side hustlers, it’s time to go get your funding 🚀
State and regional small business grants
State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) – The STEP grant is said to have helped thousands of small businesses with grants since 2011. STEP can help cover costs small businesses may face when entering and expanding into international markets. The grant you receive depends on several factors including your state.
Check out the SBA Grants for Global Expansion webinar if you wanna know more about the program.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – SBDC’s can help you connect with small business grants, as well as business financing opportunities. You can also get local assistance and counseling to help you start, run, or grow your biz 💖
They can also offer you individual business advice and technical assistance to help you improve your business planning.
Small business grants for women
IFundWomen – IFundWomen’s mission is to close the funding gap for women-owned businesses 💅
They’re a funding marketplace for women-owned businesses and can offer immediate access to capital through premium online fundraising, small business grants from corporate partners, and expert coaching.
Amber Grant – The “AmberGrant” was founded by WomensNet in 1998 with a goal of honoring the memory of Amber Wigdahl. WomensNet is said to give away at least $30,000 every month in Amber Grant money.
Applying is quite straight forward – you just need to tell them about yourself and your business goal. The grant winners are announced by the 23rd of the following month 🥇
Women’s Business Centers – The SBA (Small Business Administration) sponsors more than 100 Women's Business Centers nationwide which helps women side hustlers launch their businesses. There are many resources for women-owned businesses you can get access to which include business training, counseling, federal contracts, and access to credit and capital 🚀
Small business grants for black women
JP Morgan say Black women are the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the U.S., with nearly 2.7 million businesses nationwide.
Having said that, one of the biggest challenges that black women face when starting their own businesses is funding.
If you’re struggling, know there are plenty of companies out there who want to help your business take off 💖
We’ve rounded up a few below but you can find many more online.
Comcast RISE – Comcast RISE is a two-year program which recently launched in 2020 and by the end of 2022, it helped strengthen 13,000 small businesses owned by women who were hit hard by Covid-19.
Comcast awards $10,000 grants to businesses several times per year and you can also apply for “marketing services and tech makeovers” which could help grow your biz.
This week, Comcast announced they’ll be awarding an additional $1 million in grants to 100 small businesses owned by women and people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others.
SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant – The SoGal Foundation has teamed up with Bluemercury, Twilio, and Winky Lux to offer grants for startups between $5,000 to $10,000 to businesses owned by Black women or Black non-binary entrepreneurs.
If you get funding, you’ll also receive professional advice on fundraising and lifetime “ask-me-anything” access to the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so go ahead and sign up at any time ✨
Black Girl Ventures – Black Girl Ventures provides Black and Brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital, and capacity building. They can help fund and scale tech-enabled, revenue-generating businesses (under $1M), and they connect like-minded entrepreneurs with a business community to help support growth. They also organize pitch competitions and competitive fund generation techniques for entrepreneurs 💖
Looking for tips on how to kick start your business? Here's how Magi owner, Nergiz, started her very own sustainable underwear label at the age of 24 🌍
Startup business grants
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – MBDA says its mission is to promote the growth of minority owned businesses. It has a list of resources minority-owned startups can use to find and secure grants, as well as other funding opportunities.
Fast Break for Small Business – This program is funded by LegalZoom and together with the NBA, WNBA, and NBA G League, they support small businesses with $6 million in grants and services. Applications for $10,000 grants will reopen during the 2022-23 NBA season and LegalZoom’s partner, Action Opportunity Fund, manages the application process.
Visa Everywhere Initiative – This one’s a bit different as you’re competing with fintechs around the globe but it could potentially mean exposure to investors and media coverage.
Every year, Visa holds multiple competitions which can help startups grow their businesses. Since 2015, around 8,500 startups have taken part and they’ve managed to raise more than $16 billion in funding collectively.
- 1st place – $50,000 grant
- 2nd place – $15,000 grant
- 3rd place – $10,000 grant
Crowdfunding – Crowdfunding could be a good start. You might be able to raise money from a large number of people on a crowdfunding platform where people will be able to learn more about your business and make investments. There are many crowdfunding sites to choose from which could help you get the money needed to hit the ground running 🙌
Some of which include:
Securing a grant for your small business can be quite time consuming but stick with it – it’ll be well worth it when you get the funding ✨
And if you’re looking for side hustle inspo, here’s how Resident Pheasant’s founder started her ethical chocolate business from home 💡🍫
Enjoy this post? Def give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference. And of course, if you want to try the best money app in the world for free, just hit this link right here.
Big love. Cleo 💙