Resources for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Your guide to access funding, reach new customers, expand your network and navigate mental health support for you and your team.

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Funding & Capital

Find information on resources that can help you navigate funding and raising capital for your business

Where can I find general information and resources about funding and grants? is a federal portal that you can use for finding grants applicable to your specific industry and eligibility. Although doesn’t exclusively offer minority-owned business grants, it’s a great resource for eligibility guidelines, application information, and deadlines on over 1,000 small business grants. Learn more

Community Navigator Pilot Program con­nects under-served Pan-Asian Amer­i­can busi­ness­es with crit­i­cal busi­ness ser­vices and assis­tance pro­grams. Learn more.

37 Angels wants to close the gender gap in startup investing. In addition to angel investing bootcamps, workshops, and professional development opportunities, they also host pitch forums every two months. Learn more 

State Funding Programs most states offer some kind of funding for small businesses. While it would take a long time to name each one, we’ll name a few. 

  • New York: NY Ventures’ Pre-Seed and Seed Matching Fund Program will offer early-stage technology and start-up companies based in NY from $50,000 up to $250,000 with matching from the private sector. To see if your company qualifies, learn more

  • California: If you’re looking for funding opportunities from local agencies, the county or city Economic Development Agency or Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start. The Small Business Technical Assistance Centers can also help you find local programs available from your local city or county agencies. 

  • Texas: The Product Development and Small Business Incubator Fund (PDSBI) offers long-term, asset-backed loans to product development companies and small business incubators/accelerators located in Texas. Learn more 

What grants are currently available for minority and women-owned businesses?

Grants for Minority-Owned Businesses

Local Initiatives Support Corporation has a variety of impact funds like the Black Economic Development Fund and the New York Forward Loan Fund. Learn more 

The Tribal Energy Development Capacity Grant Program is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior to provide funding to support energy resource development on Native American land. With these minority business development grants, you can develop or enhance your business and regulatory environment for energy resource development. These minority business grants are specifically available for federally recognized tribal organizations, Alaska Native Villages, and Tribal Energy Development Programs. Learn more

BLACK AMBITION Through the Black Ambition Prize, Black and Latinx entrepreneurs will be eligible to receive mentorship and win up to $1,000,000 in funding. Learn more 

Grants for Women of Color-Owned Businesses

The Asian Women Giving Circle is the first and largest giving circle in the nation led by Asian American women. They support Asian American women-led projects in NYC that use arts and culture to create social transformation and enact action around critical issues that affect Asian Americans. Learn more

SoGal Foundation provides $10K and $5K cash grants to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs. Awardees will also get help navigating the fundraising environment at large. Apply here 

The Latina Entrepreneur Academy is a part of LULAC’s Women’s Empowerment Initiative helps Latina women  build their own businesses or enhance their existing ones. Awardees receive a $5,000 grant plus info sessions themed around entrepreneurship. Learn more

Ms South is a grant to support women who own businesses that further the advancement of women and girls of color in the South. Applications are only open for businesses that have not received prior funding. Learn more

Grants for Women-Owned Businesses 

The Amber Grant Foundation awards $4,000 to a different women-owned business every month. At the end of each year, one of the 12 grant winners is awarded an additional $25,000. Learn more 

Cartier Women’s Initiative Award supports women-led and run early-stage businesses that are focused on a range of social, economic and environmental development issues. Learn more

iFundWomen partners with tons of organizations to bring grant opportunities to women-owned small businesses. Learn more

What loans are available for minority and women-owned businesses?

The National Minority Supplier Development Council Business Consortium Fund provides loans programs and consulting services for NMSDC-certified businesses. Learn more 

Union Bank’s Business Diversity Lending Program is designed to empower women, minority and veteran-owned businesses through credit and financing. Learn more

Accion is a nonprofit, community organization dedicated to helping small business owners succeed and thrive. They provide fairly priced, flexible loans to a diverse group of entrepreneurs. (over 60% of their borrowers come from minority communities). Learn more

Opportunity Fund provides microloans to underserved small businesses, particularly those owned by low- and moderate-income immigrants, people of color, and women. Their working capital loans range from $2,600 to $250,000. Learn more

The Latino Economic Development Center is a certified community development financial institution providing alternative financing to help build and grow local businesses in Washington, DC and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Learn more

Greenwood is a new digital bank that was created to support Black and Latinx-owned customers. In addition to financial services like checking and savings accounts, mobile deposits and peer-to-peer transfers, they also offer a global ATM network, Apple and Android pay services, and give $10,000 every month to a Black or Latinx business. Learn more  

What accelerators and incubators exist for MWBE founders?

Backstage Accelerator supports underrepresented founders in local programs around the world. It’s a three-month program designed to give founders the support they need to reach their next critical milestone. Founders will work with a team of experienced, passionate facilitators and will grow through mentorship, investment capital, and access to resources. Learn more

Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders is a three-month digital accelerator program for Seed to Series A technology startups based in the U.S. In addition to mentorship and technical project support, the accelerator also includes workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development for founders. Learn more

Gener8tor invests in underrepresented entrepreneurs seeking to bring about transformative change. They offer a variety of accelerator programs. For example, the gener8tor Accelerator program provides $100K in a 12-week investment-for-equity program. Learn more 

Black Founders Exchange, in collaboration with Google for Startups, is a curated program designed to move companies with a high-growth, scalable model from initial product to successfully raising seed capital with their business. Learn more

Lightship Bootcamp is a free education program for underrepresented founders and offers networking opportunities with key strategic partners, advisors, mentors, and corporate customers. Learn more

Founder Gym is a 6-week online program where founders complete structured exercises and receive expert training from seasoned investors and funded-founders. The goal is to equip graduates with the knowledge, network, and know-how to successfully raise capital to scale their tech startups. Learn more

The BGV Connect Incubator is dedicated to the Black Girl Ventures' mission to accelerate 100,000 women to economic advancement via community, education, and leadership. This is for Black and Brown women-identifying entrepreneurs and business leaders who are innovating and dedicated to leveling up their vision, idea, or business. Learn more

What are some examples of VC funding and VC firms focusing on MWBEs?

Startup Runway introduces under-represented founders to professional investors. Finalists are chosen from hundreds of applicants based on three distinct criteria: 

  1. Led by under-represented founders 

  2. A technical product or solution 

  3. The business has actual sales 

Note: This is not for founders who have been through a national accelerator or have raised more than $100,000.

Learn more about how to apply here

Lightship Capital invests in early stage companies led by BIPOC, LBGTQ+, women, and people with disabilities who operate in the CPG, E-Commerce, Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, and Healthcare spaces. Learn more

The business angel Minority association - baMa - aims to bridge the investment gap in minority-led startups or startups targeting minority driven markets. They are looking for pre-seed, seed or Series A investments that are seeking equity, debt, or debt with an equity component and have a strong management team and solid business model/prototype. Learn more 

Brown Venture Group is a Black owned VC firm and venture studio exclusively focused on Black, Latino, and Native American technology entrepreneurs. Learn more 

Black Tech Ventures is committed to democratizing access to capital for Black- led startups and underinvested founders in software and tech. Learn more

Collide Capital is a Black owned VC firm that invests in BIPOC founders solving the next generation of global challenges. Learn more

Concrete Rose invests capital into founders of color addressing the needs of underrepresented consumers of color, and founders committed to creating inclusive cultures and building diverse teams. Learn more

Chingona Ventures focuses on funding women-owned businesses in financial technology, female technology, food technology, health/wellness, and future of learning. Learn more 

Fearless Funds invests in high growth, scalable, women of color-led ventures across the United states. Learn more

Gold House Ventures invests in passionate Asian and Pacific Islander (API) entrepreneurs whose companies are transforming industries. Learn more

Graham Walker provides funding for early-stage women founded tech companies focused on supporting communities, diversifying and improving the workplace, or dedicated to the environment. Learn more

L’ATTITUDE is a purpose-driven venture capital firm on a mission to catalyze the most entrepreneurial yet undercapitalized cohort in the US by investing in businesses led by Latinos. Learn more 

Relentless Venture Partners are focused on early stage US based tech companies founded by Black & Latin American innovators. Learn more 

Serena Ventures is a VC firm that champions under-represented founders whose perspectives and innovations level the playing field for all types of entrepreneurs. Learn more

Tulane Ventures Fund is a $10 million startup fund for women and minority entrepreneurs, targeting groups who have historically faced barriers in accessing capital to start businesses. Learn more

Mendoza Ventures Fund backs companies with founders from minority and other diverse backgrounds in the financial-technology, artificial-intelligence and cybersecurity industries. Learn more

SoGal List of VC Firms, Accelerators, Resourcesfor MWBEs organized by location, funding stage, type, and target group.  Check it out 

Reaching New Customers

Learn more about how to reach a broader audience.

Where can I get my business listed in a minority and women-owned business directory?

MWBE Directory Justworks has created the minority and women-owned business customer directory. This is intended to expand the reach and visibility of our amazing customers and help our community diversify their supply chain and vendor network. If you are a Justworks customer who meets this criteria, you can apply to have your business included in the directory.

Shop Black Owned is an open-source tool created by the team at Coast and Janet Gardner to provide wider visibility to Black-owned businesses and connect consumer buying power to positive economic and social change. Submit your business

Diversity Information Serviceshas created directories for finding certified MBE and WBE suppliers, which include 9500 nationally certified minority and women-owned businesses.Learn more

Collab Capital has put together a guide on accessing supplier diversity certifications, which can be a jumping off point for qualifying for alternate sources of capital. Learn more 

Grow Your Business

Learn more about how you can take your business to the next level with these resources.

How can I learn more about how to grow and market my business?

These organizations provide some helpful resources for business development, no matter what stage your business:

The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. is a great resource for developing and growing Black-owned businesses. Learn more

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce actively promotes the economic growth, development and interests of more than 4.7 million Hispanic-owned businesses. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 250 local chambers and business associations nationwide. Learn more

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program helps minority owned businesses develop their business through set-aside and sole-sourced contracts, management and technical assistance, and mentorship programs. They also help in administering small business grants for minorities. Learn more

SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). They offer lots of great free resources like online training, guides and templates, and a mentorship program

National ACE  leads multiple initiatives that provide grants, training, events, and amplification of AAPI voices and fosters AAPI business community building. Learn more

Grow With Google offers digital training programs and tools on how to grow a small business like helping you boost your online presence. Learn more

Early-stage companies have unique needs. Here are some helpful resources:

Becoming a Founder Guide Justworks has pulled together a collection of resources covering gathering funding to scaling growth and much more. Learn more

Founder’s Playbook from Visa and IFundWomen is a guide specifically for early-stage entrepreneurs. Learn more 

digitalundivided offers a number of programs for Black and Latinx women early-stage entrepreneurs. Learn more

How can I consolidate costs during a financial downturn?

Regardless of a recession, staying on track of financials and finding ways to cut costs can make a world of difference. Here are some tips. Conduct a financial audit to see what is making a dent in your wallet and what services are making an impact. Look into your supply chain and see if you can cut a deal that is win-win for both businesses. On the talent-side, evaluate if you need full-time staff versus part-time or freelance workers and where. Decide if VC funding makes sense at this time. If that answer is yes, make sure that you’re pitching companies that are the right fit for your company to avoid wasting time, money, and resources on a fruitless effort.

For even more, read advice straight from VC investors. 

MWBE Certification

Learn more about the MWBE Certification and how to get your business certified.

What is MWBE Certification?

MWBE stands for Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises. In some states, the two may be treated separately, and you may see MBE or WBE instead. At least 47 states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, have state-level MWBE development programs. There are also a number of existing certification programs that are run by federal and local government agencies, and private organizations. 

The benefits vary by state, but overall, MWBE certification gives businesses the ability to reach a broader network of customers, contracts, and resources. Learn more

How can I get my business certified?

The certification process differs from state to state. MWBEs are companies with minorities or women controlling 51% of the firm's operations. Publicly owned businesses may also qualify, but minorities or women must control more than 50% of the stock offerings. Here is a list of state programs available. 

Expanding Your Network

Find opportunities to grow and strengthen your network in the MWBE community and beyond.

How can I connect with other minority and/or female founders?

Black and Brown Founders provides community, education, and access to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. They help founders launch and build tech businesses with modest resources by providing culturally-relevant information about bootstrapping through online education and events. Learn more 

The Female Founders Alliance is a curated network of women and non-binary founders and CEOs. This is a curated, founders-only virtual network. Join here

The Latin Business Association provides resources for the Latinx business community, including advocacy and business education. Learn more about membership

The Latino Coalition is a membership organization that provides helpful resources for Latino business owners. They do a lot of advocacy on policies that will help Latino-owned businesses thrive. They also arrange networking events. Learn more

USPAACC offers business growth programming for AAPI business owners and connects members with Fortune companies and government buyers. Learn more

The Asian Business Association represents Asian American business owners, and creates business opportunities for its members and their diverse communities. Learn more

What conferences are specifically for MWBEs?

Afrotech is a groundbreaking conference for Black techies, startups, and entrepreneurs. The event features a 360-degree look at how culture and tech run the world, including talks, teaching, learning, and pitching. Learn more

Black-Owned Small Business Expo is an event created to give minority owned businesses a platform to network, collaborate and build in order to strengthen our local economies. Learn more

Black is Tech connects Black and Brown tech professionals, students and entrepreneurs and provides access to resources for growth and development. Learn more

Black Tech Week serves tech professionals and enthusiasts, funders, allies, and all members of the global Black tech community and offers opportunities to learn and connect. Learn more

CelebrASIAN Conference access enterprise-critical information from industry experts, inspiring speakers, top innovators, and networking with fellow AAPI small business owners. Learn more

Latinas in Tech is an annual conference for Latina techies that connects Latina founders and venture capitalists offering inspiring talks, skill-building workshops and career boosting networking. Learn more

L’ATTITUDE Conference is a small business conference of Latinx entrepreneurs with sessions and networking opportunities. Learn more

Roadmap to Billions showcases the brilliance of Black women in tech, creates a stage for our experiences, foster deep connections, and create real funding opportunities. Learn more

WBENC Expo is an opportunity to connect and learn from other women-owned businesses during learning sessions and networking events. Learn more

Women of Color: Shaping the Future Conference empowers minority women business owners so they can increase their earning potential, close the inequalities gap, and become successful entrepreneurs. Learn more

The Academy of Women Achievers Luncheon honors some of Boston’s most influential women. All proceeds from the event support YW Boston’s programs to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Learn more

National Women’s Business Conference is an opportunity for women to connect and learn from other women-owned business leaders. Learn more 

 MED Week is a forum for minority entrepreneurs, business owners, and stakeholders to connect and learn about industry trends, key resources, and tools to grow and improve their business. Learn more

Mighty Dream Forum is an event of thought leadership, idea exchange, networking, progressive conversation focused on equity and opportunity for people of color. Learn more 

How can I connect with investors who are looking to fund minority and women-owned businesses?

Searching for capital can be challenging, so here are some tips to help you secure funds. First, do your due diligence to strategically target VCs investing in your sector and the stage of business you’re in. For example, some VCs only fund Series A startups. TechStars Investor Pipeline can help you stay organized as you build out that list. 

Additionally, identify whether you're a pre-seed stage or seed stage company. Knowing which one you are can help you shape your pitch. A pre-seed company needs to be able to sell their vision and the experience of their founder and team members, and execute on it.

For even more tips read advice we’ve gathered from VC firms. 

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