It is believed that minority entrepreneurs have to work twice extra to make it in their business. This is largely because they have to overcome various obstacles along the way such as discrimination, lack of enough support, stiff competition among other challenges. However, there still exist resources that minority entrepreneurs can take advantage of to improve their chances of success in entrepreneurship. We asked entrepreneurs and business owners to share ideas on the best resources for minority entrepreneurs and here’s what they to say;
My biggest resources have been communities, both online and offline. l’m a member of several Facebook groups that allow me to make connections, to ask questions, and to grow my business. There are also many in-person communities for women, people of color, and women of color in Chicago which I have the privilege of being a part of. These spaces are where I find peer mentors and collaborators who understand the unique struggle of building a business as a minority.
Thanks to Taylor Morrison, Jubilant!
#2- Non-profit called Start Small Think Big
One of the best resources I encountered was through the assistance from a non-profit called Start Small Think Big. This organization was an amazing resource by connecting me with a legal team pro~bono that helped me identify the right tax structure as well as completing all the legal documents to incorporate my business. Moving from the operation of home-based to an actual location, the first thing I was concerned about was identifying the proper structure. By operating at a business incubator, I was fortunate to be connected with the organization Start Small Think Big, a non-profit organization on a mission to help low- income individuals build thriving businesses to increase their personal financial security and stimulate economic activity in underserved New York City communities. The process for me was simple. I went online, completed an application about myself and my business. A few weeks later I was contacted to set up a face-to-face interview. Through the interview, we were able to take a deep dive into what my immediate business needs were for getting my business off and running in the right way. I recommend the services Start Small Think all the time as they should be a go-to for all business owners who are not the majority population and need help to grow their business.
Thanks to Charisma De Zonie, The DeZonie Agency!
#3- Several resources
Minorities, including women and those that are economically and socially disadvantage have a great advantage when selling to the worlds largest buyer – The US Federal Government. About 23% of federal contracts are set-aside for women, minorities, veterans and other groups. The best resources for aspiring minority entrepreneurs are (1) The SBA – Small business Administration which offers certification programs so that women and minorities can secure their 5% of the federal contracts. They also offer conferences and trainings for businesses; (2) SCORE which offers mentoring and classes for entrepreneurs – including minorities – and is comprised of successfully retired business owners and (3) State and Local Government Economic Development Agencies which offer programs, sometimes including funding and investment opportunities and (4) SBDC’s – Small Business Development Centers also located regionally across the US – offer training
classes for entrepreneurs and minorities.
Thanks to Jennifer Schaus, JSchaus & Associates!
#4- New Voices Fund
Women of color entrepreneurs are encouraged to join the new voices community and apply for funding or other resources on New Voices fund website and completing a business profile. We are continuously reviewing applications and urge everyone to apply. We are moving, and we’re moving faster than anyone in this space right now. Based on the underserved needs and overwhelming demand from women of color entrepreneurs, we expect to embark on Fund II even sooner than we originally expected. It’s time to hear more voices that demonstrate measurable social and economic impact in a way that inspires more women of color to join the financial inclusion movement.
Thanks to Richelieu Dennis, New Voices Fund!