Forty-four percent of African-American entrepreneurs use their own money to fund their businesses, compared to 37 percent of white business owners. Some experts say self-funding a business has challenges. The main challenge is an entrepreneur’s limited funds.
There are places to get outside funding for your business. Here are a few.
Invoice2 Go Grow Grant
The Invoice2Go Grow Grant is giving $200,000 in total to all businesses. Black business owners can receive $15,000 in funds. As part of the application criteria, entrepreneurs have to be 18 years old and identify as an underrepresented minority. The business has to be less than five years old, have fewer than 10 employees and revenue less than $1,000,000.
The application process includes writing an essay of 200 words or less in which the applicant has to explain how the grant would help their business. Finally, an entrepreneur must follow Invoice2Go on their social media accounts and have posts with #invoice2Go to keep updated on the great process. Applicants can enter here.
The Mansa Fund gives micro-grants to Black business owners. The fund was named after Mansa Musa, who was the ruler of the kingdom of Mali from 1312 to 1337. During his reign, Mali was one of the richest kingdoms of Africa.
Business owners apply and write about their business needs. If a business owner is selected, the funds are sent to the winner through PayPal within 24 hours. Applicants can apply on the Mansa Fund website.
Accion Opportunity Fund Fast Break for Small Business Grants
The Accion Opportunity Fund is partnering with the NBA, WNBA, and LegalZoom to give $10,000 Fast Break grants and $500 in LegalZoom services to 50 small businesses. Minority-owned businesses are especially encouraged to apply.
Businesses must be U.S.-based, have been in operation for at least six months and have a business bank account; they also can’t be in these prohibited industries. Documents that business owners have to submit include their most recent tax return, a copy of their ID and a copy of their business license. The deadline to apply for the grants is Nov. 23. Business owners can apply here.
New Mexico Small Business Recovery Grant Program
New Mexico business owners can receive funding through the New Mexico Small Business Recovery Grant Program. Business owners must have suffered financial losses during the pandemic and meet these other requirements. The grants will total $200 million for several businesses. Small business owners can apply for the grants until Dec. 7 here.
Chi Biz Strong/Outdoor Dining Grants
The City of Chicago is giving Chi Biz Strong $5000-$10000 grants to small businesses. The total Chi Biz Grant amount is $20 million for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Chicago is also giving $2 million in total grants to restaurants and bars that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Restaurants and bar owners can get $5,000 grants to buy personal protective equipment, outdoor furniture and other needs for their establishments. Businesses must have less than $3 million in revenue and must meet other requirements. Small business owners can apply for the Chi Biz Strong and Outdoor Dining grants until Nov. 12 on the City of Chicago’s website.