Small to medium sized minority, women, or veteran owned businesses in Michigan can get financing from various free grant as well as loan programs. Lenders, including banks, credit unions, government agencies, corporations and others provide funds to help them start or grow a business. Find an updated list of loan as well as grant programs available in Michigan below that may be near you.
The funds are aimed at helping women owned businesses, Black owned companies, Latino businesses, Asian, Veterans and other disadvantaged groups get the financing they need. Each and every agency will have their own application process in place. Note that in general the funds go quickly, so it is recommended to apply as soon as possible. But new lenders, whether a bank, the federal government, private donors, etc. are always providing more money to the greater Michigan community.
There are grant as low cost (or interest free) loan programs in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and across the state. Find how, and where, to get loans or free grants for your business below. Or find how to get capital to start your company. A number of agencies provide financial assistance, guidance, and other resources for women as well as minority owned companies, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) or those seeking to start a business.
Find loans and free grants for minority or women businesses in Michigan
The list of financial assistance programs below will be updated daily. There are a number of loan programs well as well as grants available to help Black owned companies, Women businesses, LGBTQ, and other minority businesses. Find funds from a bank, credit union, corporation or other program below. MWBE businesses and other low income and/or disadvantaged companies in Michigan can get help.
Year round – ongoing financial help
A Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) known as MIWF – Michigan Women’s Forward is a Microloan lender. They also offer other business workshops, STEAM workshops, a Girls For change Program, volunteer opportunities and more. Any business can apply for a loan or other free assistance/advice, but a focus is on women, including Latinas, Black women, immigrants and the disadvantaged. From time to time government grants may also be provided by the lender, and find more details on their services here. https://miwf.org/grow-your-business/apply-for-a-loan/
Detroit Development Fund helps small businesses that are located in the city access capital. Most of the assistance and advice is for business owners who can’t get loans or grants from banks or other sources. A large percentage of those clients will be disadvantaged businesses – minorities, women, veteran, etc. In addition, the Detroit Development Fund will also tend to help applicants with bad or no credit. Several other small business assistance programs are offered too. Learn more https://www.detroitdevelopmentfund.com/
Detroit and Wayne County – Restore the Village Fund is for Black and minority owned businesses in Detroit and Wayne County. There are grants, free coaching services, startup help, and other advice to help (1) a company get started or (2) assist current businesses. Free grants and financial support is offered to both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Black Leaders Detroit overseas the applications. Read more. https://blackleadersdetroit.org/
Metro Detroit Black owned businesses can turn to the Black Business Alliance (MDBBA). They operate a free to use center in the city. Business owners can get free internet, network, research grant and loan programs, use computers, and get other support. The Detroit Black Business Alliance also operates many other services for start ups as well as existing companies in the region. Find out about the center and alliance here. https://mdbba.com/
El Concilio provides assistance to Hispanic owned businesses in the Kalamazoo area. The non-profit provides a number of services, ranging from education to financial literacy, cultural classes and more. One focus is on helping Latinos start or to continue to operate their business, and the non-profit can refer clients to loan programs, government grants, credit repair for businesses with bad credit and more. Find details. https://elconciliokzoo.org/
Economic Development Corporation of Genesee County and Flint has a resolving loan fund. The interest rate is lower (as low as 2%) and the funds are targeted for certain expenses or needs. The small women and/or minority owned business also needs to be committed to creating jobs. Read more. https://www.flintandgenesee.org/economic-development/small-business-revolving-loan-fund/
Grand Rapids Latino and Hispanic businesses can get information on raising capital, business plan development help, information on interest free loans or grants, and other support from the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Hundreds of companies and people are part of it. There are classes on finances, Building Bridges Through Education, networking events and so much more. Continue reading. https://westmihcc.org/
Kalamazoo businesses that are involved in food/meals (grocery stores, restaurants, breweries, bakeries, farmers markets, etc.) can get help from the People’s Food Co-Op. One major goal is to help “food deserts” in the county, meaning places in which there is a lack of healthy grocery or meal options.. Many of these locations are minority, Black, Latino, white, or just low income communities. Get help with business development, raising capital such as grants or loans and other support. Continue reading. https://www.pfckalamazoo.coop/
Michigan Woman Forward (MWF) is a group that is focused on women of all ages, from teenagers on up. There is the WomanUp business pitch program for starting a company and finding investors. In addition to that, microloans of up to $50,000 can be provided to female entrepreneurs, including those with limited or no credit. There are other capital raising programs, information on college scholarships and STEM training and more. Learn about the non-profit here. https://miwf.org/
Free business development services, applications to financial help and other resources are offered by the West Michigan Region of Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC). They help women and minority business owners in the Grand Rapids region. There is market research help, free consulting, applications to grants or SBA loans, and many other services. Read more. https://sbdcmichigan.org/west-michigan-region/
Oakland County Michigan businesses and start ups can contact the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, or GLWBC. The non-profit covers Oakland County. The non-profit partners with the Economic Development Department. A number of business services are offered, including entrepreneurship programs, networking, pitch opportunities for raising money, referrals to government grants, scholarships and more. They assist women of all ages, races, backgrounds, and many Black and Brown women use the center. Find details here. https://www.wbenc.org/programs/
Kalamazoo microbusinesses can apply for $5,000 grants. As many as 99 small businesses will get financial assistance. The money is being offered by the United Way, the Kalamazoo city council, charities, and the Foundation for Excellence. All applicants need to have 10 or fewer employees. The funding is also part of federal government grant and relief programs. The funds can be used to pay the bills or provide general working capital. All applicants need to have been in business for at least one year. Read more here. https://changethestory.org/micro-enterprise-grants/
March and April 2021
$5,000 forgivable loans are offered by the Saginaw Economic Development Corporation for businesses local to that community. The funds are the result of the federal government CARES Act. The focus is on businesses, including minority, women and veteran, that have been impacted by COVID. Beauty salons, pubs, restaurants, law offices and others can apply for an interest free loan. Apply here. https://www.saginaw-mi.com/departments/community_and_economic_development/saginaw_economic_development_corporation/index.php
January and February 2021
A form of capital is being offered to “second-stage” businesses in the Grand Rapids Michigan area from the New Community Transformation Fund. It will invest in businesses owned by people of color, either men or women. The funds are a form of equity investment. It is a form of venture capital for minority owned companies, and learn more or apply here. https://blackstar.fund/
Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program, as funding allows, will pay up to $20,000 for closed businesses or $15,000 for partially open businesses that have been impacted by COVID. Women and minority owned companies can apply, and the aim is to help small businesses that have suffered from the pandemic. Apply for free government grants here. https://www.michiganbusiness.org/about-medc/covid19/survival/
Small businesses in the city of Kalamazoo can get grants of up to $2500. There is the city Small Business Health Protection Grant which is being offered by the United Way of the Battle Creek as well as city of Kalamazoo Michigan. The business needs to have less than 50 employees and under $2.5 million in revenue. The funds can pay for expenses related to COVID, such as PPE, etc. Minority, women, and veteran owned businesses are being allocated some of the funds as well. Learn more or apply. https://changethestory.org/small-business-support/
Small businesses, sole-proprietors and start up companies in Detroit can apply for grants from 2 local non-profits. The funds are for Asian owned, African/Black Americans, Latinos, and other businesses owned (or started) by people of color. Hundreds of grants, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Applications are accepted, reviewed, and processed by ProsperUS Detroit as well as Black Leaders Detroit. Funds are for English and Spanish speakers, businesses that have filed taxes, and others in the city of Detroit. Funds are for e-commerce as well as physical businesses. Apply here. https://blackleadersdetroit.org/bld-flagstar-bipoc-grant.html
Michigan businesses of people of color (black, Indigenous, Latino, etc.) can apply for grants of up to $5000 from Flagstar Bank. The funds are for businesses impacted by color – these are not loans from the lender but free grants. The business most be small, with revenue under 1 million dollars per year (pre-COVID). Wherever Flagstar operates this grant program is offered, including in Troy, Detroit, Fort Wayne, and others. Apply here. https://www.flagstar.com/
Grand Rapids Opportunity for Women and the ReStart Kent loan program as well as the Muskegon County Recovery Loan, has a second application period for $10,000 loans. Some of the money is paid by the SBA, and the low cost loans have a low interest rate and no origination fees for women, veterans, and minority run small businesses. It is only for residents in those counties. Learn more. https://www.growbusiness.org/
Kent County and Grand Rapids residents can get up to $25,000 in free small business grants. Not only may financial aid be offered to female, minority, and struggling businesses, but they are can get technical help, counseling, advice on growing (or saving) their business, and other support. Apply for funds here. https://calvin.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9vOEdNgz4hzfkuV
Michigan Women Forward’s Resilience Fund helps small businesses regain financial footing through free grants and free advice. The goal of this fund is to be able to service individuals who are low to moderate income and also who are minorities or women. https://miwf.org/
Grants available for local small businesses. At least 30 percent of the funds will go to businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans. Up to $20,000 is provided per applicant. This is part of the restart program. Applicants need to have less than 50 employees, needs funds for working capital or bills (such as rent, utilities, inventory, etc.). A priority is for female led, veterans, minorities, and disadvantaged in Michigan. Read more michiganbusiness.org/restart/ or find additional details https://www.themorningsun.com/news/local/grants-available-for-local-small-businesses/article_6815d948-d35a-11ea-9f20-772f76925b53.html
By Jon McNamara