-Established: May 2022
-Mission: Ensures an accurate count of Black-owned businesses who are doing business within Mecklenburg County, while also collecting valuable data related to business type, goals, financial challenges, and immediate & longterm needs.
-The WHY: Over 60% of Black-owned businesses were denied PPP funding, with a large majority being denied due to the depletion of funds. Only 2% of corporate funding reaches Black-owned businesses. The BBOC Census Ensures Local, State, & Federal entities have access to data needed to allocate Challenges, & Immediate Needs.
-Current Registrants: 1,481 businesses
-Partners: City of Charlotte,
Mecklenburg County, & LISC
BBOC is a proud Official Partner of Nasdaq & The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. Since 2021, over 2 dozen BBOC members have registered as MENTORS of their #MentorMakers program!
Are you Interested in #Mentoring the Future Generation of #Entrepreneurs? (or) Would you like to become a #Mentee and gain valuable knowledge on how to Start & Scale your business?
Become a Mentor-Maker MENTOR or MENTEE Today, Register Below!
(Be sure to mention #BBOC upon registration)
The Progressive® Driving Small Business Forward fund program will provide $25,000 towards a commercial vehicle to 10 Black-owned small businesses.
Progressive Commercial is the #1 commercial auto insurer in America1 and is committed to serving small businesses. Multiple studies have shown how inequities have made it harder for Black entrepreneurs to access capital. This program aims to alleviate this challenge.
1 No. 1 commercial auto insurer from SNL Financial’s 2022 national written premium data.
Beyond Open is a small business grant program led by Foundation For The Carolinas and made possible by support from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund to help diverse (minority, woman, veteran, LGBTQ) small business owners grow businesses, build wealth, and expand economic mobility in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
This Grant is also open to NON-PROFITS!
Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Networkare teaming up with Antares Captial to offer $20k small business grants through the Antares REACH Grant program. The grant funds are allocated for small businesses entering their next stage of growth and providing important community services. The grants will also be directed to business owners who are historically underrepresented entrepreneurs.
The program lists the eligibility requirements as…
The application deadline for the grant is July 15, 2022 at 6pm.
For more details, terms, conditions, and the application visit https://helloalice.com/grants/antares-capital/.
With more than $50 billion of capital under management and administration as of December 31, 2021, Antares is a private debt credit manager and a leading provider of financing and investment solutions for middle-market private equity-backed borrowers and investors. Through its Asset Management & Funding team, Antares offers the opportunity to invest in collateralized loan obligations, funds, and separately managed accounts. Championing middle market growth throughout market cycles, Antares helps its people, partners, and communities achieve their full potential. Visit Antares.com or follow the company on Linked
The Get Ready Venture Program Cohort 2 sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co is a
12-week intensive training program for WOC business owners to acquire the needed training, mentorship, knowledge, and skills needed to gain access to capital. We will select 50 WOC business owners to participate in this training cohort.
(Please read the criteria in entirety before applying)
Past and Current Revenue
Industry: Must be a for-profit business in the FINTECH or Workforce Development industries defined as:
General Business Growth Plan
Applications for the Fall Cohort of Goldman Sachs' One Million Black Women: Black in Business program are now Open.
This FREE business education program is dedicated to reaching Black women entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to turn their business potential into business growth.
Black-owned businesses play a vital role in neighborhoods around the country. Yet according to research firm McKinsey, Black-owned & minority-owned businesses are more likely to close in the face of business disruptions (including COVID-19). The Washington Post reported more than 40% of African American business owners had to shut down during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Luckily, a host of federal programs, nonprofits, and professional networks are stepping up their efforts to support minority-owned businesses with financing, advocacy, and consulting services. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur within a minority group, you may qualify for financial assistance.
The Small Business Association (SBA) defines minority-owned businesses as small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities (51% ownership or more). The number of minority-owned businesses has been increasing over the years, reaching 8 million in 2012 - representing about 29% of all businesses.
In times of hardship, it's incredibly important to provide resources to support these businesses through financial assistance.
In this short guide, we'll review 10 of the best resources to help minority entrepreneurs and their businesses thrive.
Federal Grants and Agencies
Several federal agencies have programs in place to help connect minority businesses with funding and opportunity. As long as your business is 51% controlled by U.S. citizens, you can take advantage of their resources, ranging from grants and loans to mentorship and beyond.
1. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
The MDBA is the only federal agency specifically tasked with promoting and growing minority businesses. In 2018, the agency helped facilitate $3.5 billion in contracts for minority business owners, leading to the creation of 19,000 jobs.
Current initiatives include:
Research on minority businesses' economic impact, and best strategies for growth
A nationwide network of business centers equipped to support minority businesses
Grant and loan opportunities
Federal MDBA grants and loans are designed to award innovative businesses the support they need to grow. You can apply for grants directly on the MDBA website.
What's more, local MDBA centers can help your business with the following:
Securing capital through bonding, private equity, and commercial loans
Connecting with opportunities including contracts and new certifications
Improving your infrastructure, policies, and strategy through consulting services
Take advantage of these opportunities and begin to grow your business.
2. U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program
The government sets aside $25 billion each year for contracts with small and disadvantaged businesses. The SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program helps small, minority-owned business owners learn to compete for these and other government contracts.
In addition, the 8(a) program provides opportunities to:
Consult with a business opportunity specialist to navigate the federal contracting landscape.
Participate in the SBA mentor-protégé program and form joint ventures with established businesses. This may also include financing opportunities.
Receive support in executive development, infrastructure, marketing, and more.
To qualify for support, a business owner must be both economically and socially disadvantaged, meeting certain criteria in terms of net worth and income. Check the program page to see if you qualify.
3. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
Housed in the Department of Transportation, the DBE program helps connect small, minority-owned businesses with DOT contracts including transportation projects helmed by state and local governments, airports, and public transportation agencies.
This program can guide small businesses through the DBE certification process. Once your business is certified, the program provides the following supportive services:
Training and technical assistance
Aid in creating estimates
Support in fine-tuning business management practices
Help to obtain financing and bonding
DBE status is not just for construction and shipping companies. For example, DBE status could help your small retail store or restaurant open an airport or rest-stop franchise.
In addition to federal programs, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations provide funding, opportunities, and training for minority business owners. Here are just a few of the many nonprofits that support businesses like yours.
4. The National Minority Business Council The NMBC supports small, minority and women-owned businesses in the tri-state area, and in the rest of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It provides the following services:
Educational opportunities and seminars, including an executive management program and Entrepreneurial Bootcamp
Support for businesses seeking international trade partners, through the International Trade Program (ITP) program
Resources and support for businesses interested in becoming environmentally conscious (and receiving tax benefits and grants for green initiatives)
In 2014, the NMBC retained the Institute for Thought Diversity to study its impact through partnerships with over 11,000 minority-owned businesses. The ITD found that NMBC efforts led to $400 billion in economic output and the creation of over 2 million jobs.
5. Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA)
MEDA provides financing, training, and opportunities for minority business owners. Based in Minneapolis, this nonprofit has served over 20,000 minority businesses since 1970. In 2018, they helped 974 businesses secure over $4 Billion in contracts (cumulatively).
Current initiatives include:
A 7 month "Mini-MBA" program designed to support minority entrepreneurs
Business consulting services including financial planning and analysis
The MEDA million dollar challenge competition for start-up funding
6. First Nations Development Institute
The FNDI provides grants, training, and advocacy for small businesses and nonprofits owned by First Nations entrepreneurs. Their mission is to support Native communities and people through several initiatives, including grant funding for businesses.
Since its founding in 1980, First Nations has distributed over $37 million in grants.
Professional Networks and Membership-Based Organizations
Beyond nonprofits, professional networks are a powerful way to connect with peers and potential mentors in your industry. In addition to networking opportunities, many also provide training and financial opportunities.
7. The Asian Business Association
The ABA is a national network with branches throughout the U.S. Its services include:
Education - Seminars and workshops on topics from green entrepreneurship to COVID-19 coping strategies to connect entrepreneurs with vital tools as well as networking opportunities.
Advocacy - The ABA works with community-based organizations, corporations, and public agencies to advocate for Asian and minority entrepreneurs' business opportunities.
Community - Joining this association connects members with other Asian entrepreneurs who might provide mentorship and support, or serve as future partners.
8. The National Hispanic Business Group
Founded in 1985, the NHBG's mission is to support Hispanic business owners and the communities they serve. It boasts the following efforts:
Meetings and education - Seminars and events connect members with cutting-edge business trends, as well as networking opportunities. They provide testimonials about the concrete results of member networking
Relationships with national corporations - NHBG leadership meets with leading corporate executives to help them increase the diversity of their companies and subcontractors
To accomplish its mission, the NHBG also funds scholarships.
9. U.S. Black Chambers
The U.S. Black Chambers comprises over 100 local chambers that support black business owners. They provide the following services for their members:
Financing - Partnerships with J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo help the chambers connect members with capital
Contracting opportunities - A black business directory and regular networking events help members form beneficial, long-term partnerships
Advocacy - The U.S. Black Chambers fights for legislation to support minority and black-owned businesses
Training for entrepreneurs - In light of COVID-19, the organizations began providing ample information on how the CARES Act, PPP loans, and other related funding opportunities apply to black business owners
With over 10 years in service, the U.S. Black Chambers received the "Advocate of the Year" award from the Minority Business Development Agency in 2016.
10. National Minority Supplier Development Council
The NMSDC helps its member organizations find opportunities to enter corporate and public-sector supply chains. They have matched over 12,000 minority businesses to their corporate members, facilitating partnerships that diversify supply chains and promote small businesses's growth.
Once your business is MBE certified through the NMSDC, you'll have access to:
Education and training
These resources can help take your business to the next level.
Considering Other Resources
Unfortunately, due to high application rates, many grant programs close shortly after opening their submission form. Be sure to consistently keep up-to-date on the latest grant opportunities, and be on the lookout for other avenues of cash flow.
For example, the National Black MBA Association has teamed up with FedEx for a few years running to offer a pitch challenge. If you have a scalable startup idea, be sure to submit an application. Submissions close August 1, 2020, and the first-place prize is $50,000.
Seek Support to Help Your Community Thrive
As a minority business owner, you may have faced more barriers to securing startup funding and credit than other entrepreneurs. If you find yourself struggling thanks to the economic upheaval of COVID-19, seek out resources to help create business resilience.
Now more than ever, diverse local businesses are vital to the strength of your community and the country alike.
With federal grants, nonprofit support, professional networks, and of course, the customers who support your business every day, there are plenty of resources available.
COVID's effect on minority owned businesses. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/social-sector/our-insights/covid-19s-effect-on-minority-owned-small-businesses-in-the-united-states
Minority Business Development Association.https://www.mbda.gov/
Minority Business Development Association. https://www.mbda.gov/news/press-releases/2019/02/minority-business-development-agency-celebrates-50-years
All About the 8a Business Development Program. https://govcongiants.com/all-about-the-8a-business-development-program/
SBA. 8(a) Business Development program.https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-assistance-programs/8a-business-development-program#section-header-0
The National Minority Business Council, Inc. http://www.nmbc.org/
MEDA. Announcing the 2019 Meda Million Dollar Challenge Finalists! http://meda.net/million-dollar-challenge/
National Hispanic Business Group. https://www.nhbg.org/
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P.O. Box 561191
Charlotte, NC 28256
“Empowering Black-owned businesses and underserved communities through proven business development & civic engagement; strategies, events, and programming to establish & sustain economic impact”
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Official Announcement : Juneteenth 2023
Estimated Groundbreaking: Fall 2024
Vision: The CLT Black Business is a self-sustaining physical location, serving as an incubator & accelerator for Black entrepreneurs, innovators, & creatives. A space where visions are nurtured and dreams are no longer deferred