Charities, non-profits, banks and corporations provide free grants and/or low cost loans to women, minority, LGBTQ, veteran, and disadvantaged businesses in Washington DC. There is financial help provided as well as free coaching, counseling, networking, mentoring as well as other guidance given. Find where to get assistance (in the form of grants or loans) as well as small business help in the District of Columbia below.
The financial aid, as well as other small business services, are aimed at (1) minority as well as female entrepreneurs as well as (2) MWBE or BIPOC small businesses. The goal is to either help someone start or grow a business. Whether it is financial help, or assistance with marketing, website development, business operations, raising capital, or something else, the agencies assist.
The list of resources is updated daily with the latest grants and loans. There may be assistance from non-profits, the government or corporations in the region or nationally. Anyone can apply of course, but the Washington DC programs are committed to allocating some support to disadvantaged veteran, LGBTQ, veteran, and other minority owned businesses.
Find Washington DC grant and loan programs for minorities and women owned businesses
The financial assistance programs listed below are available in the District of Columbia either monthly or year round. Note, they are open to business owners regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. However there will be some funds, or priority, given to women and/or minority-owned small businesses, including veterans, Asian, Black, and LGBTQ among others. Funds, whether low cost/no coast loans or free grants, can come from banks, government agencies, charities or other services.
November and December 2021
Food focused industries (grocery stores, restaurants, etc.) can apply for free grants from the Food Access Fund. Millions of dollars are being issues to help the industry set up operations in Wards 7 and 8. Or the free grants can help existing food businesses. A major focus is on disadvantaged, low income neighborhoods in Washington DC area as well as those that are Black, women, veteran, and owned by people of color. Apply here. https://dmped.dc.gov/page/food-access-fund
Year Round and Ongoing Assistance
Kiva loans are offered to startup companies as well as small businesses. The interest rate is 0% – meaning it is the same as a “repayable grant” that needs to be paid back over time. Kiva will focus on minority, veteran, LGBTQ, Black, Asian, female and Latino owned businesses, both in Washington DC and nationwide. The non-profit uses peer to peer as well as crowdfunding to raise money. In total, up to $15,000 can be borrowed. by the minority-women business., all of which is interest free. Apply here or find more details. https://dslbd.dc.gov/DCKivaHub
By Jon McNamara