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Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States, yet Brookings reports that Black women make up less than 1% of all small business owners and less than 5% of women business owners. How could this be? A study from Harvard Business Review found that 61% of businesses started by Black women are self-funded, making it difficult for them to face the many financial barriers of entrepreneurship.
To help Black women build long-lasting, successful companies, we've compiled a list of grants designed to support Black women in business. Take a look at the list of business grants for Black women, and start applying today.
2023 Grants for Black Women in Business
Here are some of the best grants for Black women who already have a Black-owned business or are looking to start one:
Offered by WomensNet, an organization that supports women business owners, Amber Grants are very well-known and have been awarded since 1998. Grants are given every month, with larger awards offered twice a year. Grants are also offered in different business categories, including startups and nonprofits.
What: $10,000 per month, $25,000 biannually (to previous monthly winners)
Who: Applicants over 18 years old with a U.S. business that is at least 50% women-owned
When: No deadline; applications are accepted on a rolling basis
The founder of SmartSweets offers this opportunity to young female entrepreneurs that's part grant, part convention, and part competition. A handful of applicants will be selected to attend an in-person event with business leaders and entrepreneurs, and one will walk away with $25,000.
What: $25,000 gift to one winning candidate
Who: Women under 30 years of age in North America
When: Applications due August 31, 2023; winners announced in September
The CBBB has awarded $8.5 million in grant money to Black business owners since its inception. The organization offers 14 grants of $25,000 a year, and it also provides mentoring and other business resources.
What: $25,000 one-time grant
Who: Owners of a Black-owned U.S. small business (with at least 51% Black ownership) in an economically vulnerable community; must have 3-20 employees and have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic
When: Applications for the 2023-2024 cycle open in August 2023
Offered by BlackConnect, an organization dedicated to closing the wealth gap and correcting disparities in the business community based on race, this grant will be awarded to one entrepreneur with the best business pitch.
What: $10,000 one-time grant
Who: Business owners in the U.S. over 18 years old; their business must be predominantly Black-owned, have made less than $100,000 in revenue to date, and be up to five years old
When: Applications are due August 31, 2023; fees are $50 for non-members and free for members of Black Connect
Specifically designed for Women of Color in business, these HerRise micro-grants are small but mighty. They are awarded monthly by the Yva Jourdan Foundation, the nonprofit arm of HerSuiteSpot. The organization also offers coaching and other resources for business owners.
What: $1,000 micro-grant awarded to a different business owner each month
Who: Businesses in the U.S. with 51% ownership by Women of Color (with some industry exceptions)
When: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; $10 fee to apply
This grant is offered exclusively to Black women in the restaurant or food service business, and it is funded in part by Uber Eats and Eat Okra.
What: $10,000 in one-time grants to 10 different entrepreneurs
Who: Restaurants, food trucks, or other food-based businesses in the U.S. with 51% Black-woman ownership; must also be listed on Uber Eats
When: Applications due September 8, 2023
The CCWC grants are awarded twice a year by the organization, which offers professional mentorship, plus legal advice and support to women of color.
What: $5,000 one-time grants to five different recipients
Who: U.S.-based for-profit businesses with legal entities established before January 1, 2020, with $25,000 in revenue since inception, and a valid Employer Identification Number (EIN); applicants must be over 18 years old
When: Application accepted on a rolling basis; winners will be announced in September 2023
While it's not technically a grant, this business accelerator from Amazon can provide a lot of value for Black-owned businesses that want to operate as Amazon third-party sellers.
What: $500 in Amazon credit and three-year Sponsored Enhanced Digital Certification, plus up to $3,000 in advertising credits and free imaging services
Who: Certified Black-owned Amazon businesses in the U.S. with a Professional Seller Account
When: No timeline or deadline, simply apply after receiving certification as a Black-owned business
The National Association for the Self-Employed provides support and resources to all entrepreneurs, including quarterly grants allocated to business growth.
What: $4,000 one-time grant, awarded quarterly
Who: NASE members enrolled for at least 90 days
When: Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis; current cycle submissions end in September 2023
IFundWomen partners with major global brands to offer a variety of grants to women business owners all throughout the year. Corporate partners include Coca-Cola, Visa, COMCAST, and many more.
What: Grant amounts vary
Who: Women business owners; other eligibility requirements may vary
When: Deadlines vary; a universal application is available at the link above and can be submitted at any time
The Foundation for the Carolinas has partnered with Wells Fargo to offer a multi-round funding opportunity for minority-owned businesses in one of North Carolina's six Corridors of Opportunity.
What: Over 150 separate grants between $10,000-$150,000
Who: North Carolina for-profit businesses in one of Charlotte's six Corridors of Opportunity with 51% minority (women, POC, LGBTQ+, persons with disabilities) ownership; must be in operation for at least one year beginning on or before August 1, 2022, among other requirements
When: Applications due August 31, 2023 at 12:00PM ET
Much like Amazon, Wish understands the importance of supporting Black entrepreneurs on their path to business ownership. That's why Wish is offering grants totaling $2 million to as many as 4,000 partners.
What: 4,000 separate grants from $500-$2,000
Who: Black-owned brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. earning less than $1M in annual revenue while employing 20 workers or less; winners must be over 18 years old and agree to become Wish Local partners
When: No deadline to submit application
Funded by J.P. Morgan Chase, this program is designed for Black women owners in the tech field. In addition to financial support, it also provides networking opportunities, marketing strategies, and more.
What: An invitation-only business growth program with a $5,000 grant included
Who: Black and Latina woman over 18 years old with a tech-based registered business that is over one year old with a minimum of $50,000 in annual revenue
When: Applications close August 27, 2023
This publishing company supports women authors as well as women business owners and has funded them with more than $250,000 since 2018. The Business Impact Grant (BIG) is awarded to a woman of color who is running a business and improving the world.
What: $5,000 one-time grant
Who: U.S.-based woman business owners over 21 years old with companies that are 100% owned by a Woman/Women of Color, were established a year or more ago, and generate $50K or more in annual revenue
When: Applications are accepted through August 31, 2023; 10 finalists will be highlighted in September and the winner will be announced in October
Started by Founders First, an organization that works to support minority business owners, the Kitty Fund Grant is awarded to mompreneurs working to get ahead for their careers, their kids, and themselves.
What: $1,000 grants awarded to 50 mompreneurs
Who: U.S.-based business owners, CEOs, or presidents who are mothers; businesses must be founded by a mother, not exceed more than $5 million in annual revenue, and must have 2-50 employees
When: Pre-registration for 2024 awards is open; applications will be accepted beginning in March 2024
Designed for women planning to launch their own businesses, the StartHER grant is offered by the Texas Woman's University's Center for Women Entrepreneurs.
What: $5,000 one-time grants awarded to 25 recipients
Who: Business owners (or aspiring business owners) whose companies have five employees or fewer and are at least 51% owned by one or more women who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, among other requirements.
When: Applications for the upcoming cycle will open in fall 2023
AT&T is the force behind this giveaway, which awards one women entrepreneur with $20,000, plus a brand-new mobile device and a year of service. Applicants also become part of the She's Connected community, where they can network and create support systems for their growing businesses.
What: $20,000 one-time grant, plus one year of AT&T service and a device
Who: Women business owners over 18 years old who operate in the U.S. with less than 50 employees (other parties may nominate women business owners for the award); review the official rules for more information
When: Application must be submitted by August 31, 2023
Get Your Grant and Get Growing
Did you see any grants above that appeal to you? Don't wait — apply now before the deadline passes. And remember that you don't always need to have an LLC or legal business entity to apply for a grant, but some organizations require it, and others may view you more favorably if you have one.
Before you begin submitting applications, consider making things official and forming your LLC with Bizee for $0 + state fee.
Wendi is a freelance writer based in Indianapolis, IN, with over a decade of experience writing for a variety of industries from healthcare to manufacturing to nonprofit. When she isn't working on solutions for her clients, she can be found spending time with her kids and husband, working in the garden or doing more writing (of the fiction variety).
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