In the business world, black entrepreneurs have never enjoyed adequate representation in the United States history. Although they make over 12% of the country’s labor force, only 9.4% are business owners at the moment. Black-owned businesses face numerous challenges. Including lack of collateral, little to no credit history, lower net worth, as well as location. Additionally, the Brookings Institution notes that student loan debt and educational barriers are major factors limiting the growth of Black-owned businesses.
Therefore, access to capital becomes a major factor that holds them back. Research indicates that Black-owned businesses have less likelihood of getting financing than white-owned firms. Lack of financial capital is likely to hinder black entrepreneurs’ growth and profitability by about three times more than white entrepreneurs.
Due to all those obstacles, there have been efforts to develop sustainable funding resources to support Black-owned businesses’ future. For the last few years, private and public organizations have been working towards boosting black entrepreneurs’ funding opportunities. This guide is a compilation of the top resources supporting Black-owned businesses.
Backstage Capital is a venture capital firm popular in the tech industry for its efforts to invest in companies run by underrepresented business leaders. Including women as well as people of color. It has investments worth over $7 million in more than 130 companies. And businesses are eligible for funding regardless of their stage. This firm also launched a crowdfunding platform, Backstage Crowd. This allows accredited investors to fund businesses with diverse founders to a maximum of $5,000.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
The objective of this nonprofit organization is to revive communities in need through its funding programs. LISC supports Black-owned businesses across the United States via its Small Business Relief Program. Additionally, this corporation also mentors as well as offers support services to small businesses.
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
NMSDC has a Business Consortium Fund that offers financial and technical support to minority-owned businesses by providing lines of credit, term loans and counseling on financial matters. These include businesses served inadequately by the traditional lending community. The fund is eligible for any business provided it obtains NMSDC certifications and has 51% or more minority ownership.
Union Bank commits to serve the underserved business communities. Diversity Lending program supports women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs with flexible credit policies and access to capital.
Minority Business Development Agency (MDBA)
MDBA is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce and commits to facilitate minority-owned businesses’ growth. Any black business owner seeking guidance on local funding opportunities can reach out to the agency’s Minority Business Centers present across all major metropolitan areas in the United States.
JPMorgan Chase Advancing Black Pathways (ABP)
JP Morgan Chase commits to empower Black-owned businesses towards financial success. Advancing Black Pathways is an initiative that offers capital, technical assistance, and routes the business can follow to establish and grow.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CFDIs) Fund
This fund is part of the Treasury Department and significantly assists underserved entrepreneurs by increasing access to capital. CFDIs have helped many black-owned businesses by providing loans, financial services, investments, and technical support to underserved communities. Besides, the fund also gives tax credits to hasten investment. Entrepreneurs can look for local financial institutions with CDFI funding which in turn offers them tailored assistance.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA offers crucial resources to small businesses and has numerous programs to assist Black-owned businesses. It has a Lender Match tool that helps connect small enterprises with SBA-accredit CFDIs and small capital providers that can offer a personalized touch.
Accion offers small business loans to entrepreneurs who find trouble accessing capital via traditional routes. Minority communities are the major borrowers (60%) of this nonprofit lender. Any minority-owned business searching for a small business loan is eligible to get funding from Accion.
Founders First Capital Partners
This organization has a unique approach to financing service-based businesses led by veteran, minority, and women founders with revenue-based investments. Rather than determining payments based on the monthly set amount, Founders First Capital Partners uses cash flow which is a flexible payback model.
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