August 7, 2023
Peep This List Of Financial Resources For Black Business Owners And Entrepreneurs
Black-owned businesses have been thriving this year. Whether it’s retail, hair and beauty, food, or liquor, there are more Black entrepreneurs than ever, and many are becoming successful businessmen and women.
Despite the news, many Black entrepreneurs struggle to find seed money, bank loans, expansion funds, and credit. According to Forbes, 46% of Black business owners say they’ve faced issues accessing capital, among other challenges; 39% do not feel adequately informed about how to apply for money; 38% don’t have a relationship with a lender or bank; and 21% don’t know where to apply for capital.
For Black Business Month, BLACK ENTERPRISE has compiled a list of financial resources for Black entrepreneurs.
Loans and Grants
Founders First CDC
Founders First CDC is the largest national platform for growing businesses led by diverse founders. Since 2015 the nonprofit has provided funding, training, and mentorship opportunities for companies run by women, people of color, military veterans, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and entrepreneurs in urban communities.
Earlier in 2023, Founders First awarded $25,000 to women-run businesses to celebrate Mother’s Day. Last year, it committed $300,000 to help Black, female, and veteran entrepreneurs of color in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Chicago, and Texas through its Job Creators Quest Grant program. Founders First also offers scholarships to its business accelerator program, including leadership coaching and continuous business education.
Since 2014, Lendistry, a minority-led Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has provided more than $9 billion in economic opportunities and progressive growth to more than 600,000 small businesses and their underserved communities. Lendistry provides business loans, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, special grants, and programs for entrepreneurs in California, Colorado, and New York.
Lendistry works with its nonprofit organization, The Center by Lendistry, to connect small business customers with technical assistance, business courses, and business advisers. The organization also features testimonials from entrepreneurs who have applied for and received funds.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lendistry gave over $200 million in pandemic recovery grants for small and microbusinesses in New York.
Other grant programs for Black entrepreneurs include the Power Forward Small Business Grant, which offers $25,000 to Black-owned businesses in New England, and the Beyond Open Grant for minorities, women, veterans, LBGTQ+, and people with disabilities in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Businesses Accelerator Programs
Those who already have their business off the ground may now be looking for an accelerator program to take their business to the next level. Here are a few business accelerator programs to help.
If you’re an entrepreneur in the retail industry, the Amazon Black Business Accelerator Program is dedicated to helping build sustainable growth for Black-owned businesses by explicitly targeting barriers to access, opportunity, and advancement.
Amazon’s Business Accelerator provides financial assistance, including business education and coaching, plus and marketing and advertising support, for Black entrepreneurs.
Goldman Sachs has two business programs, one specifically for Black women.
The first is the 10,000 Small Businesses program, which provides business education covering the key elements for growing a business through a network of community colleges across the U.S. The program works with CDFIs and other lenders to provide capital for small businesses. The 10,000 Small Businesses program also puts its new entrepreneurs in touch with those who have made it through the program for one-on-one advising and networking opportunities.
Goldman’s One Million Black Women program expands on the 10,000 Small Businesses Program to teach Black female entrepreneurs to understand their finances better, hire employees, price their products and services, and connect aspiring entrepreneurs with a network of successful Black female entrepreneurs.
The 2023 program’s next cohort is set for September through November. Those interested in the program can complete a survey and receive emails about future opportunities for the program.
Google for Startups Black Founders Accelerator
The Google for Startups Black Founders Accelerator is a 10-week digital accelerator program for Seed to Series A tech startups based in the U.S. and Canada. The program will accept 10 Black-owned technology startups for the program and provide them with three months of mentoring and training from more than 20 Google teams, technical support, early access to Google tools and products, and much more.
Venture Capital Firms
A great number of Black investors are looking for the right company to get in on these days, Everyone from Black celebrities to those in the finance industry has opened venture capital firms in recent years to help Black entrepreneurs realize their dreams. Here are some VC firms and investors that can help turn your idea into something special while also providing financial help.
Black Angel Tech Fund
The Black Angel Tech Fund is a VC firm founded by Black entrepreneurs and investors focusing on seed funding for early-stage technology companies. Black Angel’s investments include On Second Thought, a patented mobile delay/recall technology that allows users to take back transactions before they get to the other person; and Ceek VR, a next-generation virtual reality platform.
Those interested can email Black Angel or register on the fund’s homepage to get more information.
Harlem Capital Partners
New York-based Harlem Capital Partners focuses on early-stage minority startups. The firm aims to create generational wealth for women and people of color. Forty-three percent of the companies Harlem Capital has invested in are women-owned, and 61% are Black- or Latino-owned.
Black news sites Blavity, Fixt, and Chatdesk are among the companies comprising Harlem Capital Partners’ 51-investment portfolio. Those interested can fill out its investment form to pitch their idea.
Retired tennis legend Serena Williams is using her second act to help people of color and women in different industries. Serena Ventures, which Williams started in 2014, invests in entrepreneurs who aim to solve everyday problems through unorthodox thinking. Serena Ventures has managed a portfolio of more than 60 angel investments using Williams’ own money.
Last year, Serena Ventures raised $111 million in a funding round, and its current portfolio includes Juno Healthcare, Lolli, Nestcoin, and Infinite Objects. Entrepreneurs interested in Serena Ventures can fill out its pitch form.
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