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Finurah Funding Friday: Operation Hope, FedEx, and the New York Public Library Are Offering Up Grants for Small Businesses

Access to additional money–whether it be seed capital or just additional funds–is necessary for entrepreneurial growth. For Black Americans, the opportunity to compete for business funding is critical. The African-American average startup capital available is $35,205, as compared against $106,720 for white business owners. While grant money helps entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses, pitch challenges allow entrepreneurs to truly show their unique value through presentations with angel investors and other organizations that can support business development. 

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New York Startup! 2022 Business Plan Competition 

The New York Public Library is running its annual New York Startup! Business Plan Competition for New York-based startups. The competition winner will win $15,000, insight related to business development, and access to the NYPL’s Thomas Yoseloff Business Center. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 31.  For more information, visit the website

Rice Business Plan Competition 

It’s never too early to begin raising funding for your business endeavor. The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship’s Rice Business Plan Competition provides collegiate business owners the opportunity to apply real-world experience when pitching their startup businesses. Participants will learn how to develop a strong business strategy. First-place winners of the business plan competition will receive a $350,000 investment from GOOSE Capital. Second prize is a $100,000 investment from Rice University, while third place means a $50,000 investment, also from Rice University. Smaller cash prizes of $5,000 are also available to fourth- through seventh-place winners. Applications for the RBPC are open and the competition will take place April 7-9. Get more info here.

The FedEx Small Business Sweepstakes 

Open to small businesses nationwide, the FedEx Drop Off, Win Big Sweepstakes awards range from $5,000 to $10,000. Get info here.

Small-Business Empowerment Program from Operation Hope

Aspiring entrepreneurs in low-wealth neighborhoods, which often include minority communities, can get help from the Operation Hope small business empowerment program. The program offers business training and financial counseling as well as access to small-business financing opportunities. It features a 12-week training program, plus workshops on business financing and credit and money management.

IFundWomen Universal Grant Application

IFundWomen helps women, including African-American female entrepreneurs, match with one of their corporate partners for grants. Businesses must apply through its Universal Grant Application. If you’re a match, IFundWomen may request that you apply for that partner’s specific grant program, and you will be notified.

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