The organizations immediately below provide year round financial help to minority, women, LGTBQ+, and veteran owned businesses or entrepreneurs There are grants from non-profits, the government or other places as well as interest free loans. Or get free coaching, counseling and other help with a start up or existing small business. Find resources that help MWBE and veteran owned businesses. 

While the terminology varies, in any case there is ongoing support to underserved businesses or entrepreneurs. This includes BIPOC, Latina, Hispanic, Black women, women and others. No matter what the small businesses may be considered, there will be access to capital (such as interest free loans or free grants) and the organizations often provide other support. This includes free business coaching, business plan development, technical help, legal advice and more. We broke them up by “section”.

Every organization, bank, or lender listed will have some form of offering for minority businesses, whether a women owned small business, Black owned company, Latino, veteran, or LGBTQ business. Or they will gave priority to other disadvantaged group owned or run businesses as well. Note these will almost always be free grants as well as loans that are available nationwide – regardless of where your business is located. However always read the fine print of the program terms and conditions.

Black owned businesses

Black Ambition helps LatinX and Black-owned businesses. It is a partnership of HBCU, celebrities, corporations and others. A major focus is on helping youth and/or college students start a business. There are free grants and other resources. Apply here.

Black Business Boom is a network of Black business owners, lenders, non-profits and others that work to help Black-owned businesses. There are digital accelerators, marketing programs, and one on one coaching about accessing capital – including grants, loans, and more. Read more here.

Black Connect helps Black women and male entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. They coordinate local mentoring chapters, provide free pro-bono legal aid, referrals to funding and subject matter experts and more. The non-profit is working to grow the Black owned business eco-system. Learn more here

Black Farmer Fund provides assistance to Black-owned farms. A wide variety of programs are offered, including grants, low-cost loans / community notes, marketing and technical help and more. They also work with BIPOC non-profits, the USDA and other groups to help Black owned farms. Read more here.

Black Girl Ventures helps Black and Brown female owned businesses and/or entrepreneurs. They help minorities access capital, apply for grants, get loans (even if they have poor credit), and the organization offers other support as well. There is an ongoing list of assistance programs offered by partners of the organization, including non-profits, banks, and corporations.  Read more here.

Black Restaurant Accelerator Program is for black owned restaurants only. Pepsi and the Urban League are partnering together on this financial assistance/grant program. Existing restaurant owners can get capital, mentoring, training, and other support to help them keep their restaurant open, start, or grow one.  Not that the accelerator program is ONLY offered in the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia as well as Washington, DC. Read more here.

Black Vision Fund indirectly invests free grants and/or low cost loans into Black owned businesses. The funds work with several Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to help provide capital. Any small business owner, or entrepreneur, needs to apply directly to the CDFIs for financial assistance.  Find more details on how to get help, grants, and support here.

Buy Black Store is operated by Amazon. They also provide mentoring services, access to capital and other support for Black-owned businesses. Amazon, and the Buy Black Store, is a place to shop at for businesses owned by people of color. Get details here.

Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE) provides help to entrepreneurs and anyone interested in starting a business. The center is run in partnership with Morehouse College, the Black Economic Alliance Foundation as well as corporations such as Cisco. There is access to venture capital, grants, training and more.  Find details on the center here.

Cécred x BeyGOOD fund (from Beyoncé) provides grants to cosmetology school students as well as businesses involved in the industry. The funds are for major cities, such as LA, Chicago, NYC, Houston, Atlanta and others. Learn more here.

Elevated Cities, partnering with Mastercard, has a number of assistance programs for Black owned businesses. These includes grants, coaching, professional services and more. A focus is on Atlanta, Birmingham, Los Angeles CA, state of Maryland and Virginia, St. Louis, New Orleans, New York City, Dayton, and Washington D.C. Continue reading here.

ForbesBLK is services from Forbes Magazine that provides a wide range of resources to Black business owners, professionals, entrepreneurs, creative people and others. Local in-person events, online specials, mentoring, discounts and more is offered. Find details here.

H&R Block is offering free coaching, tax advice, and credit building assistance to Black Owned businesses. They are partnering with the Urban League on this service, which is called Block Advisors, There will be application to micro-grants, financial coaching, debt help, and other help arranged. Read more on this H&R Block program.

JLH Fund, also known as the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Fund, provides grant money to Black owned businesses as well as non-profits that focus on addressing social issues. Most of the funds are for major cities, such as LA, NYC, Miami, and other cities. Learn more about the social grants here.

National Black Growers Council (NBGC) helps Black Farmers and those owned by people of color. They have occasional free grants from sponsors, technical help, and a wide variety of assistance programs for farms owned by people of color. Learn more here.

National Center for Entrepreneurship is a partnership of all the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) as well as PNC. The main office is at Howard University, but any student or alumni of any HBCU can use the programs. Get help starting a business, raising money, entrepreneurship education and more. Get details here.

Northwestern Mutual and gener8tor run the Black Founder Accelerator program. Each year there are grants provided as well as access to a 12 week long accelerator program. There is cohort programming, mentoring and coaching services and more. Apply here.

Rebuild the Block is a monthly grant program for Black owned businesses. There is financial assistance, in the form of free grants, given to as many as 15 Black owned businesses each month. The focus is on companies that have been hit hard by conditions outside of their control, such as COVID.  It is an ongoing program, and read more here.

Operation Hope is working with banks, lenders, non-profits, and many other businesses to help start black owned businesses. It is a multi-year effort with a goal of trying to create hundreds of thousands of black male and female owned businesses. Financial aid in the form of grants or loans are offered as well as mentoring, accounting services, website development and more. Other partners include Shopify and more. Find more on the national program.

Village United is a regional and national non-profit that helps Black owned micro-businesses as well as sole-proprietorships.  The programs include, but are not limited too, Elevate which as a 3 month long incubator program. There is information on funds (loans or grants), free in-personal or virtual mentoring and more. Learn about Village United here.

Latino-Hispanic business owners and entrepreneurs

Causa Local focuses on helping Puerto Rican small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs. Latinx and Hispanic business owners can also try the non-profit. They facilitate interest free loans, give advice, and other supports. Crowdfunding is offered from their WeFunder program and they also offer 0% APR loans in partnership with Kiva. They also offer loans from Causa Rural to farmers or rural business owners and a creative financial aid program. Get more information.

The National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders, or NALCAB, has small business development programs. This organization offers training, technical assistance, and capital, including grant applications or interest free loans as a CDFI, to Latino entrepreneurs and small businesses. Learn more here.

Any MWBE, veteran, or LGBTQ owned business

Annuity Payment Freedom is providing a small dollar microgrant each month. The program is known as BIPOC Small Business Grant, and it is ongoing. There is also marketing help, SEO (search engine optimization) for the grant winners and other support. A major focus is on Black owned businesses, and apply here.

Awesome Foundation is a nationwide, local group that provided free $1,000 grants each month. They help small businesses, non-profits, help people that address economic or social issues and more.  A major focus is on disadvantaged groups, and learn more here.

Black and Brown Founders helps Black and Latinx tech entrepreneurs. They focus on supporting cutting edge industries. There is boot camp, information on loans or grant programs, coaching and mentoring services and other support. Learn about the national non-profit here.

Brookfield Malls is helping Black owned businesses, with a physical retail/brooks and mortar location, set up a store in one of their malls. The program is known as Partner to Empower. There is one on one guidance, mentoring, money to set up a store, lease payment assistance and more. There are also free classes and workshops on setting up a retail store. Read more here.

CDFIs (Community Development Lenders) have partnered together on a program known as the Opportunity Finance Network.  They work to bring capital to minority owned businesses, small businesses in inner cities or low income parts of the country, and offer ongoing support. Capital may be in the form of loans, government grants, equity investments, and more.  There are hundreds of local CDFI, or Community Development Financial Institutions.

Similar to a CDFI, and in partnership with them, The Opportunity Finance Network will also help minority owned businesses with ongoing support, ranging from mentoring to free support on setting up or growing a company. Find details on the Opportunity Finance Network.

Comcast is offering cash grants to minority and female owned companies as part of RISE – Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment (RISE). Not only will free grants be paid out, but there is also training, counseling, assistance such as internet access, computer hardware, and more. Up to $10,000 may be paid out. Applicants can be female, Black owned, Latinx, Latino and Asian owned businesses, also known as BIPOC. Small business training is also arranged. Apply here.

Connect2Capital is a online portal that directs small businesses, including MWBE owned, veterans, and those with bad credit or no history, to funds. It focuses on helping people apply for non-profit CDFI loans or grants as well as mission focused lenders or banks. Locate funds, financial help, loans and more Capital here.

Coarlus provides annual, low-cost loans or grants to Entrepreneurs. They focus on women, LGBTIQA, and minorities. The social lender offer funds across the US and the world using a membership criterial.

Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOCF) is available in multiple “major” cities, including Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. A number of banks, non-profits, CDFIs, and government resources are used to help BIPOC businesses get the Capital they need. It may include information on free government grants, low cost loans, counseling, microloans and more. Find details here.

First American Capital Corporation, Inc., or FACC, is a community lender that focuses on Native Americans. They offer SBA loans, Native American entrepreneurship classes and a development center, provide free counseling or legal services and more. When government grants and/or low cost, or interest free loans, are offered for Native American small business owners FACC can help with applications.  Learn about the lender here.

Global Entrepreneurship Network has a number of assistance programs. They work with non-profits, corporations, faith based groups and others to help the disadvantaged, including immigrants, people of color and others. Programs include the GEN Small Business Grants Program, Start up Huddle and others. Read more here.

Equitable Access Program from GBN is a partnership with Hello Alice. Additional revolving loans, grants and sup[port is for BIPOC businesses as well as women owned. This program is in addition to other Global Entrepreneurship Network services.  Get details here.

Goldman Sachs is helping disadvantaged businesses with the Launch with GS fund. They are allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses owned by women, Black, LGBTQ, veteran and Latinx businesses among others. They focus on tech companies, finance companies, health care, and more cutting edge businesses. It is a free grant program that also gives access to other capital. Read about the Fund here.

Good Green provides free grants to non-profits that are based in mostly Black or Brown communities. Applicants need to be non-profits and focus on creating employment, educational opportunities, and in effect helping minority communities with social needs. Apply here for Good Green.

Greenhouse Accelerator Program from PepsiCo is an ongoing program for food and beverage startups. There are free $20,000 grants, mentoring services, coaching programs and also the opportunity to get PR or sales with PepsiCo. the program is worldwide, including in low income and diverse communities. Learn more

Howard University has a Center For Entrepreneurship. It is a nationwide service with the goal of helping Black, Women, Veteran, LGTBQ and minority owned businesses succeed. A wide variety of free resources and assistance programs are offered, ranging from help in applying to Capital (loans or grants), technology help, hands on workshops and mentoring and so much more. Apply here.

Husch Blackwell provides free legal aid as part of their Communities for Change program. This is a volunteer, pro-bono service that is offered in limited quantities. They help lower income minority owned businesses, and the free legal services range from Business Formation to setting up a LLC or corporation, Intellectual Property issues and Minority Business Certifications among other topics. The free legal aid is offered in Austin, Boston, Chattanooga, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Madison WI, Milwaukee, Oakland, Omaha, Phoenix, Providence RI, Springfield MA, St. Louis, and Washington, DC. Learn more here.

Interise works with dozens of cities across the US to help small, MWBE and veteran owned businesses, with a focus on those businesses as well as start-ups that are located in lower income communities. They assist LatinX businesses, offer the LEAP leadership program, offer streetwise MBA and focus on helping disadvantaged businesses thrive. A part of this is referrals too, and help in applying for, capital – both loans and free grants. Read on the non-profit here.

Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership helps people of color, whether veterans, Black men or women, LGTBQ+ or any other minority of color. This nationwide organization helps with everything from accessing grant money or raising money from Angel investors to partnerships from non-profits or groups such as the Urban League or Women of Color Connecting. Read more about the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership here.

JP Morgan Chase has a number of assistance programs for businesses owned by people of color as well as women owned companies. There is free mentoring from experienced Chase employees. They also offer a number of ongoing grant programs, including for start-ups. Or get referrals to charities, financial literacy/banking solutions and more. Read about the Chase programs here.

JPMorgan Chase’s Diverse Supplier Grant Initiative helps minority owned businesses get certificated and overcome other barriers. There is also a financial matching part of this program. Continue reading.

Chase Special Purpose Credit Program (SPCP) helps small businesses in underserved cities and parts of the country, many of which are MWBE, veteran, or disabled business-owned. Chase is providing financial help, low cost or interest free loans, online mentoring or classes and more as part of SPCP. Learn more here.

Lending Circle has a variety of microloans, business programs for immigrants, financial literacy programs and more. There are immigration loans, small business loans of up to $2,5000 at 0% interest rate, peer to peer funding and much more.  Get details here on MAF Lending Circles.

Lendistry is a minority owned small business lender – fintech company. They help businesses owned by people of color as well as underserved and undercapitalized companies get capitol. This includes loans, referrals to grants, technical help and more. They are a African American-led SBA loan provider. Read more.

LegalZoom as well as the NBA are offering free grants as part of a program known as “Fast Break for Small Business”. It is an ongoing program in which applications will generally open up a few times per year.  Priority is for BIPOC, LGTBQ, and woman owned small businesses. Free grants of up to $10,000 will be provided, and LegalZoom will also provide free legal aid as the business owner needs. Read more.

Macy’s is help disadvantaged businesses as part of the S.P.U.R. Pathways: Shared Purpose, Unlimited Reach program. There will be grant and loan programs provided, increased use of women and minorities as supplies to Macys, advisory resources, reporting, and more. The program is run in partnership with Momentus Capital. Read more.

Mansas Fund provides various types of investment in Black and Latino owned businesses. There may be loans, equity investments, grants, and other forms of capital provided. Most of the assistance is for micro-enterprises. Apply here.

Minority Business Development Agency is the main federal government department that focuses on minority businesses.  They often provide grants (sometimes to states other times to small businesses) or offer technical help. They are also loan programs for MWBE, initiatives and much more. Learn about the federal government MBDA here.

Mona help underrepresented businesses, with a focus on those owned by people of color, immigrants, women and the disabled. Get access to capital including interest free loans, publicity through free social media stories and other support. Learn more here.

National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) has an ongoing, quarterly grant program for very small business, including women, veteran, disabled or minority owned. It is also for sole-proprietors. The NASE $4,000 grant is issued multiple times per year. Get details here.

Nest helps “craft” type businesses, artisans, artists and the like. There are microloans, free business advice and more. With many women, minorities, LGTBQ+ and artisan businesses owned by people of color, the non-profit Nest will be an asset. Get details here.

ODP Corporation offers an assistance program known as Elevate Together. They focus on African-American and Hispanic owned businesses with under 5 employees, meaning sole proprietors can apply too. Free grants, support services and more is offered. Get details here.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has several national loan programs, including Express, The 7(a) loan, Economic injury program and others. Each lender offers services to female and minority companies and sole-proprietors as well. More on SBA loans for disadvantaged businesses or owners.

T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined is an SBA program that operates in most major communities and cities. There is an annual free grant program from this federal agency. It also provides small business owners from coaching from success professionals, details on raising money and more, with a variety of minority, veteran, and women owned businesses (and coaches) participating. Learn more.

SHE Can Fund from McBride Sisters offers various assistance programs to disadvantaged businesses, including women and people of color. There are grant programs, scholarship services, partnerships such as free Facebook advertising credit, marketing help and more. A major goal is to help businesses get the capital they need. Each and every year free grants and other support is given to qualified clients. More details here.

Southern Opportunity And Resilience (SOAR) Fund is for minority businesses located in the southern as well as southeastern part of the country, including (but not limited too) states such as Texas, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas, and others. A wide variety of assistance programs, including financial help  or loans, as well as many other free resources are offered. There are programs for Hispanic owned businesses, Black owned companies, Asian, Latino, Native Americans and other minorities. Both for-profit as well as non-profit can get help from SOAR. Learn about the services here.

US Chamber of Commerce runs the Dream Big Awards program. There are different categories for the grant, including minority businesses, LBGTQ, immigrant, youth, women, and others. It is an annual grant program in which tens of thousands of dollars are given out each year.  Companies, including Chase and other lenders, partner with the Chamber of Commerce. Learn more.

Verizon Communications has a few grants offered throughout the year(s) as well as many other free services for small businesses. The program is a portal, and it is known as the Small Business Digital Ready program. There will be free grants, online coaching for MWBE and other small business owners, workshops and learning tools.  Networking is offered too. Learn more.

Immigrants or refugees

DreamxAmerica supports immigrant owned businesses and entrepreneurs, refugees, and first-generation American entrepreneurs. There are no gender, ethnicity, age or restrictions period. Asian, Hispanic, European and African immigrants and anyone can apply for interest free loans. They help with the funding as well as provide social media “press” for the business, give technical advice, and support the business through the launch and/or its growth stage. Learn more.

LTTBQ+ owned businesses or non-profits

StartOut provides a wide variety of assistance programs to LGTBQ+ entrepreneurs and people thinking of starting a company. There is also help for existing LGTBQ+ owned small businesses. Various workshops, networking events, free grant programs, training and more is offered. The goal is to help entrepreneurs get the support they need to overcome barriers, with business creation, access to capital or loans, and more. Find details here on Startout.

Veteran entrepreneurs or small business financial assistance, support and more

Bunker Labs is a nationwide organization that partners with banks, corporations, and volunteers. A wide range of services are offered ranging from information on grants to classes, workshops, Angel Tree investing, mentoring and more. The goal of the agency is to help veterans start a business, and this includes the financing they need (whether free grants, loans, equity, etc.) as well as overall guidance. There is a Veteran in Residence incubator, Ambassador program and other help. Learn more.

Veteran Loan Fund is a nationwide network of banks, corporations, and business support groups for veteran owned companies (or entrepreneurs). A wide variety of financial assistance may be offered, ranging from interest free to low APR loans,  coaching or mentoring from SCORE, Veteran Business Outreach Centers, or SBDCs and other ongoing assistance.  Learn more here

Warriors Rising offers a number of services to entrepreneurs. They are a national non-profits that helps veterans get grant money, they provide free business coaching (online or in person), and start up programs. Get details here.

Women owned companies or startups

Bank of America (BOA) also has a database that will help women entrepreneurs or small business owners learn about free grants, loans, fundraising programs, as well as other sources of financial aid. It is a free directory to use. Find details here.

The Fearless Fund and Mastercard are providing grants to businesses owned by women of color.  The business needs to be operating and have at least $100,000 in revenue. The grants can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Other criteria are in place too. Read on this free funding source.

Goldman Sachs and One Million Black Women is providing free grants to Black women owned and run non-profits. The goal of the program is to help charities and non-profits, that are run by Black women, to help others in the community. Agencies that focus on job training, employment, housing, Entrepreneurship and similar causes are a focus. Learn more and apply here.

Grameen America helps low income women and those in or close to poverty. They provide microloans of $2,000 are more, and while some may be interest free (0% APR) others will have very low interest rates. They also help women build savings, improve credit, and provide loans to Black and minority women (even those with bad credit). In addition to funds, they offer counseling, advice, and ongoing support. Learn more here.

Native Women Lead helps indigenous women entrepreneurs. The programs include the Matriarch Creative Fund (for newer companies or entrepreneurs) and the Matriarch Restorative Fund (for existing businesses) provides very low-cost if not interest free loans. The non-profit also works with banks and lenders in an effort to provide additional financial help.  Learn more here.

100+ Women Who Care is a nationwide (and worldwide) organizations that help non-profits that focus on economic inclusion or that support women/girls. The foundation has an annual grant process in hundreds of cities across the US. Find a local chapter who to learn about the grants near you.

Rural Entrepreneurship And Leadership Co-Lab for Women (REAL Women Co-Lab) is from Wells Fargo and state organizations. They help women owned businesses in rural parts of the country get funds, business training and other support. Get details here.

StartHER helps women owned businesses (regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, etc.). The micro fund will invest and/or give small dollar loans to businesses that are involved in healthcare, society, social services or the environment. The fund, which is run by a company called Peanut, is focused on start up and “pre-seed” small businesses. The funds can help women owned businesses that are locked out of typical funding sources. Learn more.

The Tory Burch Foundation and Bank of America Capital Program helps provide Capital to women owned businesses. A number of banks, credit unions, CDFIs, and lenders across the nation participate to help women owned businesses get funding, whether low interest or 0% loans. The funds are for established entrepreneurs. Learn more.

Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest banks, has a number of programs that focus on women owned businesses, with a focus on minority owned (black, Latina, Asian, veteran, etc. women owned).  The assistance is part of the Wells Fargo Connect to More service. There is free coaching and mentoring for hundreds of companies as part of Milestone Circles mentorship program. The lender also has financing opportunities (such as low cost or interest free loans as well as possible grants), technical help, and many other programs. Learn more here.

WomensNet is a resource from female business owners and entrepreneurs.  They offer a recurring Amber Grant, which may be $10,000.  There is also funds for Marketing Assistance, monthly mini-grants for certain businesses such as restaurants, hair stylists, health and fitness, beauty companies and others.  Other free services are offered as well, and read more on the non-profit and the funds here.

By Jon McNamara