Your Questions About Small Business Loans For Minority Women

Nancy asks…

Are there any websites that are free to search for a small business grant?

I have been on the computer researching information on starting a small business from a formal business plan to grants and loans. The business I plan to start is retail. The location is going to be in a rural area appealing to the younger generation of men, women, and children. Some other items I plan on selling are acessories such as costume jelwery, handbags, and sunglasses. Basically I am trying to teach myself the fundementals of owning and running a small business. I don’t plan to have the business up and running until the Spring of 2008 to give me time to get everything together. Every website I have visited from googling ‘small business grants” wants me to pay for a book or cd to be informed on goverment and federal grants. If there is anyone out there who is willing to help me how can I get information for free to apply for a small business grant or any other grant in the catergory of minority, woman, or start up business. Please I need help.

admin answers:

A loan is a debt incurred over a fixed period of time and needs to be repaid with interest. A loan to a company or organization appears on their balance sheet as a liability. Loans can be made from family and friends; from financial institutions (Banks & Credit Unions) and from investors (Angels and Venture Capitalists). Regardless of the source of the funds, the loan should be treated the same way and interested should be charged and paid by the respective parties.

A grant is a gift from either a government or private organization and is given for a specific purpose for the “public benefit”. To a company or organization, a grant appears on their balance sheet as an asset and does not need to be repaid. Applicants need to prove that they can fulfill the specific purposes of the grant.

Unlike what is typically broadcast on late night television or published in some of the newspapers and magazines, there are no government grants for private companies unless they are involved in very technical research in the military or health arenas or they do business in certain designated geographical areas and contribute to the economic and job growth of the residents of that area.

Since you won’t be opening until Spring 2008 I would strongly recommend that you talk to a business counselor before you do anything especially spend money. Since you know where you intend to establish the business, I’d call the local office of SCORE (go to and input your zip code to find the chapter nearest you), the advice is FREE.

The counselor at SCORE will most likely advise you to write a business plan which is very good advice because it will force you to dig out all of the start up details and the costs of starting a retail business and force you to also understand all of the aspects of this business including the customers you’ll concentrate on (your market ) and how you’ll go after them.

Talk to your counselor at SCORE about the possibility of a grant only because since you’ll be setting up in a rural area you might qualify for something that the SBA might be sponsoring (I won’t hold my breath)

Try this link :…

And read some of the articles especially the ones about a business plan and starting a business.

If you have questions join their Bulletin Board and ask questions, they’ll respond pretty quickly and the advice is free also.

Good Luck

James asks…

Small business grants/assistance for white males and/or minorities?

I am researching a small business but don’t have the capital to do it myself. I have the experience to be successful but lack the credit for a small business loan. Don’t read anything into this comment but I have read a lot of information about SBA loan assistance etc but don’t qualify for much as a white male.

As a minority, however, I think my wife does. Does anyone have any experience with this type of assistance to know if the business can be in her name to qualify as a minority/woman owned business with me as an employee?

Jobs are scarce and any help would be appreciated.

admin answers:

Business assistance is available at the Small Business Administration website, at

There are no grants availalble from the federal government for anyone to start a business or to assist with personal finances. You can check –

Joseph asks…

I wantto know if I can apply for a government grant/loan to start a small business in the state of Ohio?

I am thinking of going in with my husband to start a small business which would require us to purchase some equiptment. Is there any government grants/loans in Ohio that I can apply for? I have fair credit(no bankruptcy) and am a minority. If I can, how do I start the process? Also, is there any grants/scholarships for minority women to go back to college? Useful reply would help me. Thanks.

admin answers:

You stand a greater chance of getting a government-guaranteed loan through the Small Business Administration than a government grant. Read the SBA Financing page to learn about criteria needed for borrowing

It is hard to find grants to start a business. And for women-owned businesses, you need to get certification first that your business is indeed women-owned

Unlike the myths that some perpetuate, federal government and even private foundations hardly give grant money for starting a for-profit business.

One possible exception is for companies developing or exporting agricultural goods, including food and forest product. Another exception could be the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs , which fund the research and development of technological innovation that meets specific government needs.

Your best bet actually will be from the states if they offer grant programs for women (or any other special interest groups — minorities, women, disabled, veterans, etc). Or check with non profit organizations, particularly women organizations if they offer grants. Examples include

Iowa Women’s Foundation
New Mexico Women’s Foundation

Even SBA does NOT give out grants. From the SBA website

“The U.S. Small Business Administration does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses, although it does offer a wide variety of loan programs. (See for more information) While SBA does offer some grant programs, these are generally designed to expand and enhance organizations that provide small business management, technical, or financial assistance. These grants generally support non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments.”

Nonetheless, you can go to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) and – these are two sites created by the federal government to provide transparency and information on grants. Browse through the listings and see if you can find any grant that would support a for-profit venture.

Here is a listing of federal grants for small businesses. See if there is any available for individuals for starting a business — THERE’S NONE.


Most of the federal grants are given to specific target groups with specific requirements (e.g. Minority business owners involved in transportation related contracts emanating from DOT – Grant#20.905 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Short Term Lending Program

Grants are also often given to non profit groups or organizations involved in training or other similar activities (grant 59.043 Women’s Business Ownership Assistance that are given to those who will create women’s business center that will train women entrepreneurs

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