In America, minorities have been marginalized during different periods throughout it’s history. And although we can not undo most of the harm that’s been done to these communities, we can help ease some of their burdens through grant funding. If you are a person of color or other disparaged community, then you should look up if there is funding available for you.
Below are some resources to speed you along, but first:
What are Minority Grants?
Minority grants from the federal government are monetary awards for people of a marginalized community (typically with race). However, you can’t get a minority grant simply for being a person of a minority. These types of grants are awarded to people who are or will be enacting positive changes in their community, state, or country and also happen to be a minority. Therefore, with these grant applications available, go forward thinking that they are meant to help enact change and to especially help minorities enact this change.
What Type of Minority Grants Are Available?
Minority grants are usually found for small-business owners and students entering higher education. However, the number of organizations that can offer minority grants are endless. A hospital, elementary school, or local small business can offer these kinds of grants. A quick google search about the organizations near you can go a long way in finding you grant programs and grant money for financial assistance.
Where can I find minority grants?
Grants.gov is the most comprehensive place to find grants on a national level, although they’re not specifically determined to be for minority groups. However, many grants offered are for the benefit of minority communities and so viewing the grants offered wouldn’t hurt to see if you are eligible for something. You can see grants offered from 26 governmental agencies, who the grant is for, and what the result of grant implementation should entail. You can narrow down the search for minority grants by searching “minority” in the top left search bar.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) promotes the growth of small businesses run by minorities. It connects owners to financial resources, federal contracts, and market opportunities, and might be able to point you towards the direction of grants. The MBDA is run by the US Department of Commerce, so ensuring that your business grows is one of their priorities, as it would benefit the economy of the nation.
Operation HOPE Small-Business Empowerment Programs are designed for aspiring entrepreneurs in low-wealth neighborhoods, which, sadly, often entails minorities. The program provides access to small-business financing options and also helps with setting up financial statements and setting up a business plan, credit counseling, and educational resources.
The National Minority Supplier Development Council is focused on increasing business opportunities for certified minority businesses. In addition to this, the council also runs the Business Consortium Fund, which offers a variety of financing programs and business advisory services for certified minority-owned businesses. If your business applies to these requirements, the NMSDC would be a good resource to investigate.
The SBA 8(a) Business Development Program offers help to socially or economically disadvantaged small-business owners through the Small Business Association (SBA) program. The SBA provides business development assistance, training workshops, and management and technical guidance to these business owners. To qualify, 51% of a small business must be owned by a citizen who has been subjected to cultural bias or prejudice and are placed at an economic disadvantage because of race or ethnicity.
The federal government has been very good about giving minority and low-income students financial assistance. To get minority education grants, here’s what you can do:
- Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) The form will ask for your basic information, such as household income, race and ethnicity, marital status, and so on to see what grants you are eligible to receive. Some of the opportunities you can receive include the Federal Pell Grant, which, though not specifically designed for minorities, it can help ease the burden of financing college, as it is designed for low-income students of all backgrounds.
- Through FAFSA, you might be eligible for the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), which is used to edify the Federal Pell Grant. It is mostly funded by the educational institution you go to, so be sure that your institution offers the FSEOG in its available financial aid package.
State Education Minority Grants:
Some states offer minority programs for students. Simply googling minority grants and your state name will be your best bet at finding these.
Other sources for minority grants:
Minority foundations may offer monetary awards for people of a certain minority group. For example, the LAGRANT Foundation is a nonprofit that aims to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing, and public relations. It provides scholarships, career & professional development workshops, mentors, and internships, to African American/Black, Alaska Native/Native American, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students. Their goal is to give the ethnic minorities the necessary resources and tools not commonly available to these groups, so that they may succeed in the above fields.
There’s also the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Graduate Scholar Program, which has the purpose of diversifying the US Ph.D. workforce by increasing recruitment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented doctoral students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) fields. Find the foundation that can best serve you and see if they have grants available.
Vocational Groups and Corporation can offer very competitive but rewarding grant programs, which are often launched in order to diversify the workforce, trade organizations and individual companies to support ethnic minorities receiving an education. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is one such example, as it provides monetary rewards for outstanding Pell-eligible students of color.
While we’ve given you a lot of ways to find minority grants for potential applicants, the only way to get one is through persistence. Do not let a lack of motivation or commitment keep you from getting practically free money, as it can be crucial to your business or education. So don’t lose hope during the application process or if you’ve been rejected from a grant. The right one is out for you somewhere.