Mississippi women and minority business owners (or entrepreneurs) can get financial help in the form of free grants, low cost or interest free loans, coaching programs, and more. Several charities, non-profits, government agencies and corporations provide funds, with some money allocated to women, minority, veteran, and LGTBQ business owners among others. Find a list of financial resources and assistance programs in Mississippi below.
Assistance can come from any organizations, including the (1) the state of Mississippi; (2) federal government; (3) charities or non-profits; (4) banks; and more. Women and minority entrepreneurs as well as small to mid-sized business owners can apply for financial assistance in Mississippi.
There are programs statewide, however the major cities of Jackson, Biloxi, and Gulfport have the most resources. However, some form of free grants or loans, including for minority or female applicants with bad or no credit, are offered. Most of the financial aid also comes with free coaching, mentoring, and ongoing business support.
Mississippi small business loans, grant programs, and assistance for women or minorities
Find a list of updated resources as well as year-round assistance programs that focus on MWBE as well as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) owned businesses. Any business owner or startup can apply, but some grants or loans will always be allocated to female, Black, Latino, and other minority owners.
Year round free grants, financial assistance, coaching and more
The state of Mississippi Kiva Loan Hub organization is Higher Purpose Company. The local non-profit works with the national not-for-profit Kiva to offer zero percent interest rate loans, with much of the funding going towards Black, women, and other minority or disadvantaged businesses. In addition to the financial help, Higher Purpose also offers a fellowship program, free business coaching, wealth and capital building plans, some grants as well as other resources. Find details here. https://higherpurposeco.org/
Alcorn State University operates a Women’s Business Center (WBC) that is part of the Small Business Administration Network. A number of assistance programs are offered, including workshops, information on raising money (loans, equity, Crowdfunding, grants, etc.), coaching and more. Any female business owner, including Black or Latina women, can use the center for free services. Continue reading. https://www.alcorn.edu/discover-alcorn/womens-business-center
Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce each year has a small grant program fore minority owned businesses that are part of the Chamber and that have less then 50 employees. The Free Shine a Light Grant program is run in partnership with Mississippi Power. The funds are for women or BIPOC owned small businesses, and generally up to $1,000 is offered. Learn more here. https://mscoastchamber.com/deadlines/applications
Small Business Capital Fund of MS is a CDFI lender that can provide low cost loans of up to tens of thousands of dollars for both start-ups or small businesses. They focus on businesses that lack access to standard lenders or financing, those with limited credit, minority owned companies and other disadvantaged groups. They also offer technical help, work with government grant programs, and provide various free or low cost services. Continue reading. https://sbcf-ms.org/
WBCM of Mississippi is the Women Business Center, and it is based in Jackson at 1230 Raymond Rd. They help female entrepreneurs and small to mid size business owners. Whether it is free networking, help in applying for capital (loans or grants), business plan development or something else, staff and volunteers are ready to assist. Learn more. https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/ms/jackson/resources/mississippi-womens-business-centers
Small businesses that have revenue overseas and are looking for more international expansion can apply for free government grants that are the result of the State Trade Expansion Program, or STEP. This also includes MWBE and veteran owned companies. The Mississippi Development Authority is overseeing the program statewide, with local communities. The grants will help small to mid-size businesses purse opportunities in international markets. Learn more here. https://mississippi.org/trade/
The Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce has several grants for small business owners, including for scholarships, start up companies, non-profits and more. The grants are available throughout June, July, and August and can help business owners of all backgrounds, genders, and ethnicities, including women, minorities, veterans and others. The main directory is here. https://mscoastchamber.com/deadlines/applications
February and March 2022
Mississippi Power and the Jones County Chamber of Commerce will be providing free, $3000 grants to MWBE small businesses in the county. The Minority-Owned Small Business Grant Program will help business that have a plan and need additional capital to increase sales or invest into new equipment or space. A joint committee of Mississippi Power and the Chamber of Commerce will review applications for the grant program. Applicants also need to be a member of the Chamber of commerce, among other criteria. Apply here. https://jonescounty.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Application.pdf
By Jon McNamara