Welcome to Breaking the Blueprint — a blog series that dives into the unique business challenges and opportunities of underrepresented business owners and entrepreneurs. Learn how they’ve grown or scaled their businesses, explored entrepreneurial ventures within their companies, or created side hustles, and how their stories can inspire and inform your own success.
Black women are the most dynamic entrepreneurs in the nation, and studies prove it.
Besides being the most educated, they own 2.7 million businesses in the U.S. and are the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs, according to an article by J.P. Morgan.
From beauty and fashion to tech and education, their companies have made a mark on every industry.
Despite their successes, Black women have faced many challenges as founders and CEOs, and a lack of financial support is at the top of the list. A LinkedIn article reports that 40% of Black women entrepreneurs believe having access to capital is key to growing their businesses. Yet, only 19% have received funding, causing most to self-fund their businesses.
Black women need more resources to support them through their entrepreneurship journey. Read on to learn about grants that can help you take your business to the next level.
Business Grants For Black Women
1. Fearless Strivers Grant Contest
In collaboration with MasterCard, the Fearless Fund wants to empower fearless Black women entrepreneurs who serve as role models in their community.
Eleven small businesses across the country will receive $10,000 grants, digital tools, and one-on-one mentorship to grow their businesses.
2. HerRise MicroGrant
Black women founders are on the rise, so the amount of funding they receive should be on the rise, too.
Each month, the digital community platform awards $500 to a small business owned by a woman of color. HerRise partners with corporations, foundations, and funders to provide financial assistance to women. Recipients have used the grants to buy computers, marketing materials, equipment, and more.
3. Amber Grant for Women
Founded by WomenNet, the Amber Grant has helped women pursue their passions since 1998. Each month, it gives away at least 30,000 to aspiring business owners and one separate yearly grant. The grants are:
- One $10,000 Amber Grant each month
- Four $1,000 Amber Grant each month
- Two annual $25,000 Amber Grants
- One $10,000 Non-Profit Grant per quarter
The application process is simple. All applicants have to do is share their background and business dreams. Recipients have ranged from scientific inventors to bakers.
4. SoGal's Black Founder Startup Grant
The SoGal Foundation is one of the largest global platforms for diverse entrepreneurs and investors. The foundation knows how much of an impact systemic discrimination and inequalities have affected Black founders, so it has partnered with sponsors to give $10,000 and $5,000 cash grants to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs.
In addition, awardees will receive resources about fundraising and how to scale their businesses.
5. Power Forward Small Business Grant
There's power in pushing forward. Vistaprint, the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, and the NAACP recognize this effort. They have partnered to give Black-owned small businesses in New England $1 million.
The Power Forward Small Business grant will give $25,000 to awardees on a rolling basis. Grant recipients will receive customized design and marketing assistance and national recognition.
6. National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants
Since 2006, the NASE has committed to giving its members $1,000,000 in small business grants.
Recipients can receive up to $4,000 for advertising, hiring, and other business needs. Applicants must submit a business plan detailing the business's purpose and operation. The selection committee reviews applications every quarter.
7. Comcast RISE
Comcast is advancing digital equity and capital for underrepresented small businesses. Comcast RISE gives women and minority founders access to digital tools and funding. Its mission is to support small businesses making a difference in their communities.
8. The San Francisco Women's Entrepreneurship Fund
This fund is for women founders who live in "The Golden City." The San Francisco Women's Entrepreneurship Fund offers up to $5,000 mini-grants. The money will help women upgrade their businesses and strengthen their networks.
9. AT&T Black Future Maker
AT&T wants to celebrate Black future makers' stories in a unique way. The telecommunications company is looking for visionaries who want to help others.
Applicants must submit a video or photo on their Instagram feed explaining their goals. They'll have the chance to win $10,000 in cash, an AT&T 5G enabled device, a Black Future Maker feature on the Dream in Black website, and an exclusive merchandise collection.
The program chooses winners every month until the end of the year.
10. Kinetic Black Business Support Fund
Kinetic Business believes that small businesses are the heartbeat of a community. The company provides financial help to Black-owned businesses in many cities.
Business owners in Georgia, Charlotte, North Carolina, or Lexington, Kentucky, can apply. They have a chance to get free internet for a year, a grant of up to $2,500, and a free business consultation to boost their companies. Awardees receive funds on a first-come, first-served basis.
11. FedEx Opportunity Knocks Small Business Grant
In addition to delivering packages on time, FedEx has the Small Business Grant Contest and awards innovative small businesses with the capital they need to support their business. To apply, you’re required to effectively tell your business's story, and you win by inspiring the most votes from the public.
This fund is open to anyone, making it great for Black women at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Winners are selected yearly, so check the website for contest information for 2023.
Over To You
The above grants set the foundation for Black women founders to thrive and grow.
We must continue to invest and back their passions because when Black women win, we all win.