Despite the lack of capital, Black women are still the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, 17% of Black women are in the process of starting or running a business and more likely to start a business in comparison to white men. Before we cheer, the numbers get dismal. Despite this fact, only 3% of Black women run mature businesses. While the drop off can occur for several reasons including the type of business started as well as racial and gender disparities, 61% of Black, women owned businesses are self funded. When businesses don’t have access to capital it becomes difficult to grow and scale.
If you are a Black woman and have a business and feel at the end of your financial runway, you are not alone. Take a moment to assess your business—is your business model profitable? Are there ways for you to cut costs? Can you add an additional income stream into your company? Have you reached out to fellow business owners for help and advice? If the source of your problem is mainly a funding issue, then keep reading. We rounded up 9 grants and scholarships for Black women entrepreneurs to apply for right now!
Rebuild The Block Grant
Due Date: The third Friday of every month.
Grant Money: Varies
Rebuild The Block Small Business Relief Fund is helping Black-owned businesses get back on their feet. If your business was impacted by Covid-19 or faced destruction from looting, then you can apply for financial assistance through this fund. They select up to 15 winners each month and there is no set monetary value. However, if you do win, you will be required to provide proof of your losses. Rebuild the Block has set a fundraising goal of $1M to help Black-owned businesses. We love a grant that makes lasting change in communities.
The National Black MBA Association, Inc.
Due Date: Saturday, July 24th, 2021
Prize Money: $50,000.00
The National Black MBA Association, Inc. Scale Up Pitch Challenge is for businesses that are in the ideas and concept stage and will provide an individual or a team with a grand prize of $50,000.00. If you think your business is a “Big Idea” and you need some funds to execute, this is the pitch challenge for you. Rules include: you must be a U.S. resident at least 18 yeas of age, have a founder who is Black and maintains at least an equal stake in the startup, and at least one member of the team (or the individual applying) must be a member of the National Black MBA Association in order to participate in the semi-finals.
U.S. Mission to South Africa Public Diplomacy Section Call for Proposals
Due Date: May 30, 2021
Grant Money: $50,000.00 – $100,000.00
This grant is supported by The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Embassy South Africa of the U.S. Department of State. It’s an open competition for organizations or an individual with proposals to strengthen ties and build relationships between the United States and South Africa and have a strong connection with American experts, organizations or institutions. The grant is to promote an increased understanding of U.S. values, policies, ad perspectives and relationship building between Americans and South Africans. The project must take place in South Africa. You should apply if your organization, business or proposal includes the following: advancing women in the workforce to achieve economic growth, mitigating climate change, improving media literacy and journalism training, celebrating Black history month and promoting social justice, countering gender-based violence to improve security, or expanding the university partnership initiative. Always wanted to take your business overseas? Now here is your chance!
Due Date: Rolling
Funding: You decide!
So this isn’t a grant or a scholarship—fundBLACKfounders is a platform specifically for Black founders to crowdsource for money. They are a flexible funding platform, so unlike some platforms that only allow you to keep the money if you raise the total amount, you get to keep whatever you raise on fundBLACKfounders. They also have a Pitch Prep Financial Advisory Support with custom tailored resources for Black founders as well as a private community Black founders for campaign promotion. While they don’t charge a fee to create a campaign, they do have a platform fee of 5% on all funds raised, which isn’t too bad considered the additional resources they provide.
Hello Alice In Partnership with Stacy’s Rise Project
Due Date: July 9, 2021 at 6PM EST
Stacy’s Pita Chips is helping to accelerate growth for female founders and bridge the funding gap through a partnership with Stacy’s Rise Project and Hello Alice. Selected recipients will receive $10,000.00 grant to help grow their business as well as connection to industry experts like PepsiCo/Frito-Lay execs. In order to be eligible, applicants must have at least $25,000.00 and no more than $1M in annual sales as well as participate in the virtual mentorship program. Lastly, the founder or company can’t be a part of an accelerator program during the time of entry. Mentorship and monetary support? Apply now, sis!
Dream Big Awards
Due Date: July 16, 2021
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Spectrum Reach are here to help you dream big—literally! The Dream Big Awards wants to recognize and uplift the best American small business. This annual award program highlights small businesses who are contributing to America’s overall economic growth. In order to apply, you must have a for-profit business that’s been in operation for at least one year with less than 250 employees or a gross revenue of less than $20M for 2019 and 2020. In addition to prize money, you will receive national recognition. Do you know a business that should apply? You have until June 18, 2021 and can nominate them here.
Black Founder Startup Grant
Due date: Rolling
Funding: $5K and $10K
The SoGal Foundation has partnered with Winky Lux, bluemercury, twelveNYC, Twilio, and other sponsors to support Black women and nonbinary entrepreneurs with $5K and $10K cash grants. The Black Founder Startup Grant will also support awardees with guidance in navigating the fundraising environment as well as a lifetime “ask-me-anything” access to the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams. In order to qualify you must self-identify as a Black woman or Black nonbinary entrepreneur, a legally registered business, plan to seek investory financing to scale, and have a scalable, high-impact solution or idea.
Nav’s Small Business Grant
Due Date: May 31, 2021
Funding: Grand prize winner receives $10,000.00; the runner up receives $5,000.00.
Nav, a loan and credit card matching service is giving out grants to help small businesses. In order to qualify you have to be a Nav customer or sign up for a free Nav account. You fill out a short form and then have to post on your business Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn account with the hashtag #navsmallbusiness grant and answer 3 questions. Get social and earn some cash for your company!
GoFundMe Small Business Grant
Due Date: Rolling
Funding: If your business raises up to $500, you can get a $500 match from the fund.
Crowdsourcing platform GoFundMe.org wants to help small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. They started their own fund (via…GoFundMe of course!) to help raise money to help businesses. To date they have given out over 5,000 microgrants to small businesses and are giving out more. In order to apply, you must create your own GoFundMe of at least $500 and fill out this form. The form takes less than five minutes and setting up a GoFundMe is easy—what are you waiting for?!