Many founders are responding to the pandemic and social unrest by creating grant programs formed specifically to support entrepreneurs who don’t fit the demographic mold favored by most venture capitalists. These grants support communities of color and other underserved minorities. These funders are sending “the wire, make the hire.”
The following are 10 grants that were created to fund entrepreneurs who are classified as underserved.
- The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce has established a Black Business Relief grant fund for Black-owned businesses in San Diego.
- Lowe’s is awarding small-business grants to “those businesses in underserved communities owned and led by minorities and women.” The next round will be opening on August 31st.
- $10,000 Grant to USA artists, organizations, foundations, museums, and businesses for Native American arts and cultural projects and programs.
- Grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to USA nonprofit organizations, lawyers, and law firms for a case involved in civil or human rights, economic justice, or environmental justice.
- Grants to USA, Mexico, and Haiti nonprofits, for-profit organizations, and government entities for programs and services that improve the quality of life for underserved children.
- Funding for black female entrepreneurs to mitigate financial losses due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- There is a $5 million relief fund for Washington small businesses in eligible regions to support neighborhood small businesses. To be eligible, your business must be a service or retail establishment and have fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue.
- Grants totaling $10,000 to Northwest Pennsylvania women-owned start-up businesses and organizations that are in need of financial assistance but may not qualify for, or have access to, more traditional funding sources.
- Grants of up to $4,000 to USA businesses for assistance in business development.
- Operation Hope has a 12-week Entrepreneurship Training Program designed to empower aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and skills to successfully navigate the path to small business ownership. The program caters to individuals in underserved communities who face obstacles like lack of access to startup funding and limited business training and resources.
Venture Capital Funding
Did you know that women CEOs get only about 2.3 percent of all venture capital? Now, there are dozens of venture funds seeking out women-led businesses. below is a list of 10 such venture capital funding sources.
- AmplifyHer Ventures is an early-stage fund investing in female founders and diverse leadership teams specializing in commerce, health care, and technology that helps people connect.
- Founder Arlan Hamilton’s Backstage Capital invests solely in women founders who are indigenous, Black, or people of color; and those of the LGBTQ community.
- Collab Capital invests $15,000 to $1 million exclusively in Black-owned, early-stage startups that are in the technology or technology-enabled industry.
- Chingona Ventures runs a $10 million seed-stage fund that invests in entrepreneurs who identify as women or people of color. Although they invest in businesses regardless of their identity, they focus on women and minorities because they get less than 3% of all venture capital funding.
- Color participates primarily in early-stage financing of companies and entrepreneurs who are female, people of color, or otherwise “underestimated,” working in the retail, e-commerce, and consumer product industries.
- Elevate Capital‘s $13 million Inclusive Fund invests in underserved companies — or those with limited access regionally to capital and opportunities — such as those led by LGBTQ, female, veteran, Black, and Latinx entrepreneurs.
- Founders First Capital Partners funds service-based companies generating between $250K and $5M in annual revenues typically led by minority, military veterans, or woman founders.
- Harlem Capital Partners (“HCP”) is a New York-based early-stage venture capital firm with a $25 million fund. The firm wants to focus on companies run by Black, Latinx, and female founders.
- Jane VC invests in early-stage startups.
- Portfolia Rising America Fund invests directly in early-stage and growth companies led by people of color and LGBTQ entrepreneurs.
- The Opportunity Fund is a new $100 million venture fund for outstanding Black, Latinx, and Native American/Indigenous entrepreneurs. The fund invests in companies across both early and growth stages that are using technology to innovate and challenge traditional industries.
- SoGal Ventures have invested in 70+ startups with world-class, diverse entrepreneurs in the US, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Africa.
Funders are entering the market place daily and entrepreneurs who are female or people of color are beginning to see more funding opportunities for their respective businesses. Since companies like GrantWatch.com add grants daily to their grant search engine, you should subscribe to their free newsletter to be informed of new grants.