According to the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), women and minority-owned businesses are less likely to depend on outside sources such as bank loans for business funding. In fact, minority-owned firms seeking funding from traditional lending agencies often end up receiving lower loan amounts, paying higher interest rates or being denied funding all together.
That said, there are plenty of resources out there to help women and minority business owners succeed. These resources range from independent lenders to grant funding. Additionally, with help from the MBDA, such entrepreneurs can get useful leads on capital, contract opportunities and new markets.
Where to start
If you are a woman or minority entrepreneur, the first place to look for funding is with government-based programs such as the Small Business Administration (SBA).
SBA representatives are tasked with identifying socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, who then qualify to participate in SBA’s Business Development program for access to grant and contracting opportunities.
Government resources are also available for any woman or minority business owner that is in need of some money for a startup. For instance, the federal Business USA site offers a comprehensive grant and loan directory with an array of resources for you to apply for.
Loan programs from federal, state and local government agencies can do a lot to help small businesses get starting, working and expanding capital from lenders and grantors countrywide.
Private grant opportunities
The government does not directly offer grants to small businesses, but there are several private programs established to offer non-refundable funding options to specific subgroups; including women and minority entrepreneurs.
If you could use some money to grow your business, determine if you belong to any one of these subgroups and search extensively for opportunities that seem fit for your particular needs.
Although business funding opportunities for women and the minority, personal financing still remains the most popular avenue employed by these entrepreneurs. Thankfully, this trend is on the verge of changing, as there is now a number of lending options which unlike banks, have a bit of faith in your initiative.
Independent finance-solutions companies such as First American Merchant are now on the frontline, offering reliable alternative ways to fund your business.
Whether you are a woman or minority entrepreneur, have bad credit or are in a high-risk business, these companies have something for you.