Starting up a business can be a daunting undertaking. Fortunately, there are numerous resources available that assist business owners who are black, indigenous, and people of color with advice and funding. Here are some of the resources that BIPOC-owned businesses can access.
The U.S. Small Business Administration
The SBA offers a variety of services to small businesses in general, including training, education, technical assistance, and financing through loan guarantees. In particular, the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program is set up to assist economically and socially disadvantaged business owners, which includes applicants from minorities.
SCORE is a nonprofit organization that partners with the SBA to offer assistance to small businesses. It is primarily a network of volunteer business mentors. As a business owner you can obtain advice from mentors in person or via phone, email, or video. SCORE also offers workshops, webinars, courses, and a library of resources that you can access online.
The Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce with a mission of assisting minority-owned businesses. The MBDA helps minority business enterprises access contracts, markets, and funding, especially through consulting services.
The Minority Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Minority Chamber of Commerce is aligned with the National Business Association, an organization committed to helping small business owners achieve their goals. It offers education, financial advice, and contract bid assistance to minorities.
Local Programs of Minority Business Assistance
Numerous cities have local programs that assist BIPOC-owned businesses, so it is worthwhile for you to conduct a search for such organizations in your area. Start by calling your local government’s economic development department.
The term affinity group can refer to any group of people who share common interests and goals. Some are nongovernment organizations, while others are casual gatherings of likeminded individuals. Participating in local affinity groups, especially nonprofit organizations, can indirectly lead you to information and assistance for your business.
For more advice and assistance for BIPOC-owned businesses, contact POM Capital & Funding Services.