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By Sanjeev Kumar
Founding Attorney

What grants could I receive as a minority small business owner?

As a minority business owner, you may be eligible to receive a wide range of grants, which cost you nothing and need not be repaid.  Federal and private grants are designed to help minority business owners achieve success.  Sadly, a racial wage gap continues to exist in the United States.  Black and Hispanic individuals continue to earn an estimated 30 percent less than their Caucasian counterparts.  Minority business owners should research and consider applying for one of the many grants available. The following is a look at some of the top small and minority business grant program:

  1. The Dare to Dream Grant:  The Dare to Dream grant program was created to assist students to achieve their dreams of opening a business. It offers up to $10,000 in funding as well as business development seminars.  
  2. The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest:  FedEx will award $50,000 to six companies selected from across the United States.
  3. The Small Business Administration (SBA):  Entrepreneurs should contact the SBA to apply for grants and potentially seek needed financing.  The SBA has a wide array of grants and financing options. 
  4. The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program:  Administered by the Department of Transportation, the DBE program ensures that contracts involving transit are awarded in a nondiscriminatory manner. 
  5. The Minority Business Development Agency:  The MBDA matches angel investors with minority businesses to assist with financing issues.  

Funding Your Small Business 

If you are setting out to open your new small business or intend to acquire an existing small business, funding will be one of your first obstacles. You have numerous options when it comes to financing.  One of your first options is to attain the funding yourself.  This can come through business loans, savings accounts, credit card leverage, and grants.  
Alternatively, you can seek to fund from friends and family.  You may need to enter into a structured repayment plan or offer equity in your new company.  Lastly, angel investors can provide a much needed infusion of funds for the right business owner.  To attract an angel investor, it will be imperative that you have a strong business plan and realistic valuation.  Contact a business law attorney for help with creating your business plan and starting down the financing path. 

About the Author
Sanjeev Kumar is the founder and principal at the Kumar Law Firm, which provides a wide range of legal services to entrepreneurs and business owners in the area of business & corporate law and intellectual property along with related areas of interest to clients such as business succession planning, wealth preservation through estate planning, and alternate dispute resolution.