Securing Funding: Grants, Loans, Alternative Options For MWVBEs
Resourcefulness is key to success as a Minority, Women, or Veteran Business Enterprise (MWVBE). If you’re just starting a small business or need a little boost to help you through an expansion, you’ve got to have access to capital. It all starts with the big scary f-word: Funding.
Luckily, there is a large pool of financial resources available to help – you’ve just got to know where to look!
Funding Options for MWVBEs
- Federal Grants – Grants.gov houses a large majority of the federal grants available to small minority-owned businesses. The government awards grants to businesses that can help contribute to national goals – like economic recovery, research, and innovation. It’s also worth looking into USDA, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) grants.
- State and Local Grants – Closer to home, North Carolina beckons with a bounty of grants and incentives! The NC Department of Commerce website is your map to this local goldmine. And right here in Fayetteville-Cumberland, opportunities for MWVBEs are as abundant as the sunshine. Still unsure where to start? FSU HUB is your one-stop business support guru, ready to guide you through the financial landscape!
- Private Grants – Most MWVBEs have better luck finding relevant grant opportunities from private foundations and corporations. Black-owned businesses, take note: the Coalition to Back Black Businesses has a $5,000 grant ready to empower your success. And ladies, GrantsForWomen.org is your secret weapon! Plus, the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) also offers a $4,000 “Growth grant” to help its members grow their micro-businesses. But these are just three of MANY examples, so make sure to do plenty of research.
- Traditional Bank Loans – Although they require repayment, loans offer greater flexibility than grants. That being said, navigating the loan landscape can be challenging since any banks hesitate to issue loans to MWVBEs due to a perceived higher risk.
- Small Business Association (SBA) Loans – Uniquely designed to help MWVBEs hit the ground running, SBA loans are definitely worth a look. There are many benefits to them, including lower down payments, flexible overhead requirements, and some loans even require zero collateral.
- Alternative Lenders – Alternative lenders – like Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and microlenders – specialize in supporting underserved communities, including MWVBEs. These lenders often offer more flexible terms and conditions, making them a viable option for businesses with limited credit history or collateral.
Alternative Funding Options
- Crowdfunding – Think outside the bank! Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe have democratized fundraising, allowing businesses to tap into the power of the crowd. MWVBEs can leverage these platforms to raise capital from a diverse pool of investors, building brand awareness and community support along the way.
- Angel Investors and Venture Capital – Increasingly focused on impact investing, angel investors and venture capitalists are recognizing the potential of MWVBEs. By showcasing your business's unique value proposition and social impact potential, you can attract investors who see your success as not just financially rewarding, but also socially impactful.
Get funding for your MWVBE with FSU HUB!
Before you can secure any kind of lending, you need to have a rock-solid business plan. Whether you need help crafting your business plan or finding and securing capital for your Minority, Women, or Veteran Business Enterprise, we can help here at Fayetteville-Cumberland Regional Entrepreneur & Business HUB.
Contact us today if you own (or want to start) an MWVBE in one of the following North Carolina counties:
- Bladen County
- Columbus County
- Cumberland County
- Harnett County
- Hoke County
- Moore County
- Richmond County
- Robeson County
- Sampson County
- Scotland County