Find small business financial assistance for programs for women or minority businesses in Missouri. There are a number of free grants, loans, free mentoring or counseling services as well as other resources offered. Black, Latino, veteran, women owned and other minority businesses or entrepreneurs can find a current, updated lists of loans and grants near them below.
There may be assistance provided by the state of Missouri or federal government. Low cost loans or grants may also be issued by corporations, non-profit organizations, banks, credit unions as well as other lenders. Any small to mid-sized businesses, start up company or entrepreneur can apply, however a portion of the funds will be given to minority, MWBE as well as black owned companies or BIPOC-owned businesses in Missouri (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).
Most of the money is available for businesses in Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, Springfield and other cities. But business assistance is available across Missouri. Whether Black owned, LGBTQ, Asian, or another disadvantaged group, funds are offered.
Missouri small business loan and free grant programs for women or minorities
The list of programs below will be updated daily. Each of the programs has their own application process, terms and conditions. But find agencies that may issue loans and/or free grants.
Columbia area businesses can apply for free grants from Sharp End Entrepreneurial Development Fund. The money for these grants (or micro-loans) are raised from the community. Not only is financial assistance given to women as well as minority owned businesses (and veterans/LGBTQ), there is free coaching, networking, and advice from experienced entrepreneurs and business owners. Apply or donate here. http://www.cfcmfoundation.org/donations/sharp-end-entrepreneurial-development-fund/
G.I.F.T. Funds in Kansas City is helping majority owned Black businesses. Two grants are being issued per month (either 25 or 50K). The financial aid will help disadvantaged owned businesses grow, improve their sales, and stabilize themselves. The GIFT program is funded by donations from the community. Apply here. https://www.kansascitygift.org/get-funded
Kansas City and the metro area has several non-profits and quasi government organizations to help small women and minority owned businesses and start-ups. They include the Urban League of Greater Kansas City (call (816) 471-0550) as well as the National Association of Women Business Owners (https://www.nawbokc.org/). One agency that focuses just on women is the Kansas City Women’s Business Center (http://kansaswbc.com/), which works with the SBA, SCORE, and local non-profits to help fund and grow small businesses.
KCSourceLink is an organization that offers a number of entrepreneurship as well as small business assistance programs. There is help in writing business plans, applying for capital (whether a bank loan, free grants, crowdfunding or something else), networking events and other support. The goal is to help people both start and/or expand a business, with a focus on women, veteran, and minority businesses in KC. More details here. https://www.kcsourcelink.com/
St. Louis businesses of color (BIPOC) can get free Digital Marketing assistance from Maryville University and the Digital Development Project. The college partners with the Urban League, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce and other non-profits to help small businesses with internet, SEO, website, online marketing, e-commerce, and overall digital needs. Advisors also help clients approve for various loans and free government grants as well as get certification. More details here. https://online.maryville.edu/digital-development-project
WEPOWER is based in St. Louis. The non-profit organization is offering interest free microloans to small minority owned businesses in partnership with KIVA. They also offer two assistance programs known as Elevate/Elevar for Black and Latino owned businesses in the city. This includes the microloans, free mentoring, advice from attorneys or accountants, workspace and other services. Apply here. https://wepowerstl.org/elevate/
December 2020 and January 2021
Black owned businesses in St. Louis can get free grants. The Justine Petersen Housing & Reinvestment Corporation provides a number of financial services and business development opportunities. They have also received a $5 million grant from Wells Fargo, and those funds will provide capitol to Black owned companies in the city of Saint Louis. Apply here. https://justinepetersen.org/
Rebound KC is a free grant program for small businesses in Kansas City. Up to $10,000 is offered to minority, black, Asian, Veteran, immigrant and other businesses as well as startup companies. It is for businesses with under 20 employees and under $750,000 in revenue. If too many people apply, a lottery will be used. Apply here. https://www.lisc.org/kansas-city/lisc-kansas-city-response-covid-19/ccedgrants/
October and November 2020
Over $800,000 is being allocated to Universal City small businesses, with about 25% of that money going to disadvantaged minority and women owned small businesses. It will be a forgivable loan, with the money going to for profit businesses impacted by COVID. Priority is service companies, restaurants, and businesses with customer facing operations. To apply for a loan, dial 314-505-8516.
The City of Columbia has launched a microloan program. It is for very small businesses or startup companies. The loan program is run on a “point” system, meaning more points are given to minority, female, Black, or Latino owned businesses that apply. They also favor businesses that have not received any other financial aid. Applications go through the Housing Programs Division in the City of Columbia Missouri. Applications and more information is at 874-6321. Or learn more here. https://www.como.gov/community-development/neighborhoods/housingprogramsdivision/microenterprise-recovery-loan-program/
Kansas City Minority Business Resiliency Grant Program is run in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation as well as the UMKC Innovation Center. Anywhere from $500 to $5000 is given to qualified applicant. The funds are for Minority entrepreneurs, including Latinos and black owned companies. Free grants can pay for website development for an online business, working capital, inventory and other costs. Read more here http://umkcinnovates.com/grant/
G.I.F.T, or Generating Income For Tomorrow, helps businesses in the Urban Center area of Kansas City. The focus is on businesses of color and black owned small companies. Restaurants, manufacturers, service companies and others can get a free grant. https://www.kansascitygift.org/
UMKC Innovation Center is partnering with banks in the Kansas City area to launch small business grant programs. There will be funds designated for minorities, Black owned companies as well as women. A focus is on minority entrepreneurs. https://umkcinnovates.com/
City of Columbia provides $575,000 in loans for small businesses. There is emphasis on women and minority-owned businesses, whether Black, Women, or another disadvantaged company. http://www1.komu.com/news/city-of-columbia-provides-575-000-in-loans-for-small-businesses
By Jon McNamara