Opportunities Unlocked: 9 Open Grants And Loans For Black and Women Entrepreneurs

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Black-owned and women-owned businesses often face greater challenges accessing capital than their counterparts. Small business grants and programs from companies can help fill the gaps, offering financial support tailored to the needs of minority-owned businesses. Programs such as the Black Ambition Prize, Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator, and SheaMoisture Grant Programs contribute to a more equitable entrepreneurial environment, making success more accessible to all. 

But, make no mistake, backing Black and women-owned entrepreneurs isn’t charity, it’s a wise strategic investment. Research shows businesses with diverse leadership teams tend to outperform those that are less diverse. For business owners on the receiving end of needed funds and support, it’s often a vital lifeline. Here are nine funding programs currently accepting applications for Black and women entrepreneurs in need of capital injection:

SheaMoisture Grant Programs 

SheaMoisture, committed to addressing racial inequality, offers grants to support small Black-owned businesses through the SheaMoisture Fund. Programs like “The Next Black Millionaires” provide $100,000 grants and business development support, while “Brown Girl Jane” offers $10,000-$25,000 grants to Black and woman-owned beauty and wellness businesses. Additionally, their Community Impact Grant provides $10,000 grants to established Black-owned businesses in the U.S. Apply now for these opportunities to advance your business.

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program

The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program aims to allocate a minimum of 5% of federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year. Administered by the SBA, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership provides comprehensive support to women entrepreneurs, including business training, counseling, access to federal contracts, and assistance with credit and capital. Their mission is to ensure equal opportunities for all women in business.

Black Ambition Prize

The Black Ambition Prize supports Black and Hispanic-led ventures, offering capital, coaching, and community. Early-stage businesses in consumer products, healthcare, media, tech, and AI can win awards from $15,000 to $1,000,000. The prize is open to those raising less than $1,000,000 in dilutive funding, with up to 250 semi-finalists and one $1,000,000 grand prize winner. Applications are accepted through May 6, 2024.

Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator Program

Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator Program is designed to assist Black entrepreneurs selling on the platform. This initiative provides financial backing, mentorship, business guidance, and promotional assistance. Qualified sellers gain access to complimentary imaging services, cash grants, advertising credits, and startup funding. 

Cartier Women’s Initiative. The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, initiated by Cartier in 2006, empower women entrepreneurs globally across various sectors, emphasizing social and environmental sustainability. The program comprises three award categories: regional, diversity, equity, inclusion, and science and technology pioneer. Winners receive financial support, coaching, and peer learning opportunities, fostering socially conscious startups, innovative tech ventures, and sustainable brands. The diversity, equity, and inclusion category welcomes applicants of all genders. While applications are not yet open, aspiring entrepreneurs can prepare for the 2024 awards, featuring 13 categories supporting 39 impact entrepreneurs worldwide.

The National Black Business Pitch. The National Black Business Pitch connects Black-owned businesses with corporations seeking supply chain diversity. It emphasizes forging lasting relationships for sustainable contracts. Thirty finalists will pitch to corporate procurement and supplier diversity professionals, with three companies winning cash prizes of up to $10,000 for growth. Open to various industries, including consumer products, healthcare, media, technology, and AI. Apply by June 3.

RTC Women in Tech Fund

The RTC Women in Tech Fund, established by Rewriting The Code (RTC), supports college and early-career women in tech to combat gender and racial inequality in the industry. This fund offers financial resources to women enrolled in undergraduate tech programs, assisting with expenses that may hinder their education. The fund provides three grants catering to individual financial needs, ensuring accessibility to all eligible applicants. Applications are accepted continuously, providing ongoing support to aspiring women in tech. Eligible businesses include those operated or led by women enrolled in undergraduate tech programs, aiming to address gender and racial disparities in the tech sector.

The Wish Local Empowerment Program

The Wish Local Empowerment Program, sponsored by the e-commerce brand Wish, aids Black-owned small businesses with a $2 million fund. With flexible fund allocation, approximately 4,000 Wish Local partners can receive financial aid ranging from $500 to $2000. Eligible businesses must be Black-owned with 20 or fewer employees and an average annual revenue under $1 million. Successful applicants join Wish Local, accessing its consumer base through partnership opportunities.

Amber Grant Foundation. 

Founded in 1998 by WomensNet, the Amber Grant Foundation supports 

women entrepreneurs through various grants. These include the $10,000 Monthly Amber Grant, two $25,000 Annual Amber Grants, and quarterly $10,000 grants for The Startup and Nonprofit Grant. Additionally, there are 12 Business Category Grants, each offering an extra $10,000 monthly. Eligible applications stay active until their specific category month. Women-led ventures across diverse industries, including technology, retail, healthcare, education, and more, are encouraged to apply. The Foundation aims to provide financial support, encouragement, and recognition for the innovative efforts of women entrepreneurs striving for success.

Apply now and take the next step toward realizing your entrepreneurial vision.

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