Small to medium sized minority, women, or veteran owned businesses in Michigan can get financing from various free grant as well as loan programs during 2023. 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. There are also grants for Black women and other female businesses in Michigan. 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 2023 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
There are free MWBE or veteran grants, business coaching services and other assistance programs offered year round, and they are listed immediately below by category. In addition, continue to scroll down the page for monthly loans, grants and free business services in Michigan.
Statewide Michigan assistance programs for MWBE
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/
The Build Institute is available across Michigan. The non-profit is a Trustee 0f Kiva, meaning interest free loans can be issued. They also offer financial aid in partnership with other companies. The amount a MWBE, veteran, or LGBTQ business can borrow is $15,000, but it is a crowdfunding type program. Many borrowers have low or poor credit scores. The Institute will also provide ongoing guidance, support, mentoring, and assistance to the borrower. Learn more on the non-profit here. https://www.buildinstitute.org
Michigan Founders Fund is made up of existing business owners who want to help others start a company or grow their business. There will be occasional grants as well. The goat of the Fund is to help businesses that a larger cause, such as education, equal rights, social causes and more. Find details here. https://michiganfoundersfund.org/
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/
Rende Progress Capital supports disadvantaged businesses in the Grand Rapids area and surrounding MI cities. There are low cost or 0% loans, information on free government grants for small businesses, marketing programs such as Colors of Community and other support offered. Find details here on the CDFI. https://www.rendeprogresscapital.com/
The Olga Loizon foundation has, from time to time, $10,000 grants for women owned businesses in Michigan. All applicants need to be based in Michigan, have a business plan, and meet other criteria. This is a grant program that relies on donations and opens up from time to time to provide financial assistance. The team at Team Schostak Family Restaurant determine recipients. Learn more on the Loizon foundation here. https://www.olgas.com/foundation/
Detroit and surrounding counties grants, loans, and financial aid
Black Leaders Detroit overs a wide range of assistance programs to Black and African American owned businesses. From time to time grants are issued. There is social media networking, Neighborhood stabilization and other assistance programs to help minority owned businesses (and the larger community) succeed in Detroit. Learn more here. https://www.blackleadersdetroit.org/
Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University focuses on businesses owned by women, disabled people, veterans and minorities. They help manufacturing, design, engineering and related businesses with funds, testing, patent applications and so much more. Learn about the service here. https://www.centrepolisaccelerator.com/
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 Economic Growth Corporation, or DEGC, partners with the city, non-profits, and banks on the Motor City Grant program. It is an annual allotment in which small to mid-sized businesses, with a priority on those owned by people of color or a low-income as well as women, get the financial help they need. Free grants are combined with development, technical help, and other support. Learn more on DEGC grants and help here. https://www.degc.org/
Detroit Means Business is a resource hub for small businesses, start ups, and anyone interested in entrepreneurship. It is a resource hub. Get information on free corporate and government grants, find workshops and seminars, and learn about the various assistance programs offered in Detroit. Programs include mentoring, business accelerators, minority/women certification and interest free loans and so much more. A major focus is on veteran, minority, women and even disabled businesses. Continue reading. https://www.detroitmeansbusiness.org/
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/
Detroit brick and mortar businesses can apply for a grant from Hatch. In general, up to $50,000 is provided one time per year to stores with a physical location in Detroit. The financial assistance is for intendent stores, with a focus on disadvantaged businesses in Detroit (which tend to be women, minority, veteran, etc). The free grant is a form of contest with a pitch and business plan required. Apply here and learn more. https://hatchdetroit.com/
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/
Wayne County Small Business Hub offers a number of assistance programs, including free grant money. The funds are provided along with other support, such as accounting services, marketing, online website development, business plans and legal aid. The Hub is run in partnership with many non-profits and corporations, including the Ford Foundation, William Davidson Foundation,, Hudson-Webber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, W.K. Kellogg, and The Kresge Foundation. Learn more on the HUB and free grants here. https://www.waynecounty.com/smallbusiness/home.aspx
Wayne State University has programs, including the Detroit Center for Black Studies, that help African American-Black owned businesses launch. The assistance is for Alumni of the college as well as other minorities from the community. A wide range of classes, grant money and other support is provided. Read more here. https://wayne.edu/programs
Other areas of Michigan grant and loan programs
Berrien County and SW Michigan is supported by the Women’s Business Center at Cornerstone, which offers a wide range of free business services. The focus is on women, veterans, and businesses owned by people of color – disadvantaged businesses. Everything from coaching help to workshops on starting a business, e-commerce and information on free government grant programs or loan offerings are offered. They cover all aspects of a business, including getting capital. More information here. https://www.cornerstonewbc.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/
Emerge Innovation Hub in SW Michigan helps underserved businesses. They also help people start a new company. There are various programs offered, including Accelerators, micro-grants, free workshops and other free services. A major focus is on minority owned businesses as well as those owned by women in SW Michigan. Get details here. https://emergeinnovationhub.org/
Flint Michigan women owned businesses (and entrepreneurs) can turn to Sisters Supporting Sisters. The non-profit provides assistance for everything around mental health and social services to also help for women owned businesses and start ups. There is a free center in which female owned businesses can network, get access to computers or technical help, and also get publicity. They also have workshops on raising capital, grants and more. Read about the non-profit here. https://www.sistersworldwide.org/about
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/
Grand Rapids GROW (formerly known as Opportunities for Women) helps businesses of all genders, ethnicities, and races. Everything from free business training to assistance in raising money (loans or grants) may be offered. While any small business in the Grand Rapids area can apply, a major focus is on providing free grants or loans to women or BIPOC owned businesses, Read more here on the CDFI. https://growbusiness.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/
Greater Kalamazoo Business Resources has a number of programs, including 0% interest loans for women, minorities, and veteran owned businesses. They work with Kiva on crowdfunding and the interest free loans. A major focus is on small businesses as well as minority, veterans, and even disabled owned businesses. There is financial help, counseling, referrals, loans or grants and more. Continue reading on their programs here. https://greaterkalamazoobusinessresource.org/
Kalamazoo based Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) provides a wide range of businesses services. They try to provide financial help as well as long term support to disadvantaged businesses (those owned by people of color, women, veterans, LGTBQ, etc.). Funding can be provided by the “Small Business Relief 0% Interest Loan Program”. There are interest free loans, marketing help, legal aid as far as setting up a business and other support. Learn about the non-profit LISC here. https://www.lisc.org/kalamazoo/
Muskegon County small businesses as well as entrepreneurs can turn to the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. There are grants for businesses with a social cause, those that tackle income issues and diversity and even non-profits. A major focus is on disadvantaged companies such as women, businesses owned by minorities, veterans or the disabled. They also offer budgeting, help for teachers, business coaching services and more. Read about the financial assistance programs here. https://muskegonfoundation.org/grants/
Saginaw Economic Development Corporation has a number of programs, including loans, for small businesses as well as start ups. There are some funds allocated to MWBE owned businesses as well as veterans. One option is the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), which is focused on businesses in the county. Apply here. https://www.saginaw-mi.com/departments/community_and_economic_development/saginaw_economic_development_corporation/index.php
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/
Southwest Michigan small business owners or startups can turn to SCORE of Southwest Michigan. The non-profit, SBA affiliated agency is based in South Haven and Kalamazoo but they cover the entire state. The non-profit partners with KIVA to ensure that small business owners have access to (1) capital in the form of 0% APR loans as well as (2) free mentoring and counseling. Get financial help as well as advice from a diverse set of mentors, including people of color, women, and others. Learn more here. https://swmi.score.org/
Upper Peninsula Northern Great Lakes Initiative is part of the grant program known as Technical Assistance and State Small Business Credit Initiative. They help small businesses, with a focus on minorities and women, start and grow a businesses, including from low cost or interest free loans and grants. There are funds for businesses with no credit, veterans and others in the Upper Peninsula. Learn more here. https://northerninitiatives.org/business-lending/
November and December 2023
Oakland County businesses can get up to $200,000 loans from CEED Lending, which is the lending arm of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council. The funds will help businesses recover from COVID, with the money allocated to service sector companies in particular women, veteran, and minority owned. For applications, call 248-238-7680.
September and October 2023
Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance (or MDBBA) and Prudential are helping Black business owners in Detroit start an investment account and get financial advice. $2,500 grants, as seed money, will be provided to those who are selected, and the money will be placed into an investment account. The assistance is known as Black Small Business Investment Program, and apply here. https://forms.zohopublic.com/metrodetroitblackbusinessallia/form/StackwellPrudentialPathways1/formperma/7_3_HpHPTbsA2knP_NJ68ptPPaA5Q6M6qt382kflQxk
Lapeer County Community Support Council is providing grant money to women that need educational support. The money is for “non-traditional” or “non-direct costs”, such as transportation, child care and other bills. Learn more. https://lapeercountycf.org/the-womens-fund/
June 2023 and July 2023
Black-Owned Business Pitch Competition is available from the Michigan SBDC in Grand Rapids. There will be 3 awards provided, with a total of $10,000 in free grant money available. All applicants need to be Black women or male owned small businesses, and get details here. https://michigansbdc.org/pitch-black-gr/
New Economy Initiative is providing grants to underserved businesses in Michigan. This include minority-owned, LGTBQ+, veteran and small businesses that have been locked out of the banking sector. The money is part of a Small Business Network Fund from the charity, and apply here. https://neweconomyinitiative.org/
Michigan Veteran Entrepreneur-Lab (MVE-Lab) is accepting applications this year. It is a 3 month long accelerator program for small, veteran owned businesses in MI. There will also be a pitch contest with a free prize-0grant money paid out to the winner. The accelerator will start in November with applicants across MI. There is also legal help, marketing support and other assistance given. Learn more here. https://www.gvsu.edu/mve/
100 grants from Comcast will be provided in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, and Washtenaw County. The program is focused on economic inclusion, so priority is for minority, women, and veteran owned small businesses in the region. The financial assistance, as well as marketing support, is part of the Comcast free grant program known as RISE stands for representation, investment, strength and empowerment, and learn more here https://www.comcastrise.com/faq/
March and April 2023
Female entrepreneurs and small women owned businesses can apply for a free grant, free coaching, mentoring and more from the Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation. Up to $10,000 will be provided to qualified businesses. The funds are offered statewide. The money is being paid out from her foundation, and apply here for a free $10,000 grant. https://www.olgas.com/foundation-apply/
Women or entrepreneurs of color, as well as small business owners / sole-proprietors, can apply for interest free micro-loans as part of a program provided by Michigan Women Forward (MWF) as well as the Michigan Economic Opportunity Fund (MEOF). The two organizations are partnering together to help disadvantaged businesses get the funds they need. Up to $50,000 will be provided to each qualified business. Apply here. https://miwf.org/ or try this option https://miwf.org/wei/mwf-microloans/
Grants and loans were also offered last year to minorities, women, and others in 2022. Locate 2022 business assistance programs in MI.
By Jon McNamara