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Grants available to small, minority businesses

HUNDREDS OF BLACK AND MINORITY- owned businesses each year receive such grant funding from various government agencies and non-profit organizations. Such funds do not have to be repaid, but must be used to either start a new business or enhance an existing one. Others can be used for innovation research. Here are the top small and minority business grant programs available:

#1 – The FedEx Small Business

Grant Contest is a nationwide com- petition that will award $50,000 in total to six deserving U.S-based entrepreneurs and business owners. Learn more at www.business- grants.org/opportunities/fedex_ small_business_grant_contest. html.

#2 – The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE)

Growth Grants Program allowsbusiness owners to apply for a grant useful for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used their grant for computers, farm equipment, to hire part-time help, marketing materials and more. Learn more at www. businessgrants.org/opportunities/ national_association_self_em- ployed_nase_business_grants. html.

#3 – The Dare to Dream Grant

This program encourages students to move through the business cre- ation process by offering business development seminars and up to $10,000 in funding. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/oppor- tunities/dare_to_dream_grant_ program.html.

#4 – The Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition (formally known as the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series)

An annual competition for minority business owners sponsored by MillerCoors. Designed to economically empower minority businesses, the program continues to invest in entrepreneurial dreams to em- power urban communities. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/ opportunities/miller_lite_tap_ the_future_millercoors_urban_ entrepreneur_series.html.

#5 – The Small Business Ad-ministration (SBA)

The organization administers several competitive business grant programs, ensuring that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/ opportunities/sbir_small_business_research_innovation_ grants.html.

#6 – The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

MDBA organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting minority businesses with mezzanine and second round fi nancing. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/minority_business_development_agency_mbda_business_grants. html.

#7 – The Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG)

The program provides grants to finance the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. The funds can be used for land acquisition, construction, renovation, technical assistance, project planning, and more. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/rural_business_enterprise_grants_ rbeg_program.html.

#8 – The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program

The program awards grants and business resources to moms to further the development of original product ideas and startup businesses. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/huggies_mom_inspired_grant_ program.html.

#9 – The DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

The program is intended to ensure non- discrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Department’s highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance programs. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/ dot_disadvantaged_business_en- terprise_program.html.

#10 – The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The Program provides grant funding to small businesses to engage in biomedical or behavioral research/ development that leads to a potential for commercialization. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/sbir_small_business_re-search_innovation_grants.html.

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