Any successful business started with a great idea driven by curiosity and entrepreneurial passion. Everyone has to start from somewhere. Young or fresh business owners face a large variety of obstacles when growing and developing their business, from financing needs to scalability. Regardless of these challenges, there are numerous resources available to those who might need them. For Black-owned businesses specifically, there has been an increase in funding and investing assistance for those looking to make their entrepreneurial mark on the world.
In this helpful guide, we’ll navigate some of the most renowned resources for Black-owned businesses. Helping with a wide variety of entrepreneurial needs, these resources are trusted tools for new professionals looking to make their big dreams an even bigger reality.
What to Know About Black-Owned Businesses
More than ever, consumers care about which businesses they choose to support. Whether that means focusing on shopping locally or buying sustainability, consumers care about where they receive their goods and services, with a welcomed increase in the success of Black-owned businesses. While the numbers are growing, there is still a distinct deficit in minority-owned businesses. Consider:
- In the U.S, there are more than 2 million Black-owned businesses, with World Wide Technology being the largest in the country
- Healthcare is one of the most popular fields of Black-owned businesses
- Black-owned businesses generated $150.2 billion in gross revenue as recently as 2012
- 58% of Black business owners described their financial well-being as “distressed” or “at-risk” due to the coronavirus pandemic
- Only 4% of startups feature Black female founders, with 35% of Black business owners being women
- 70% of Black business owners are happy with their business
Black Entrepreneur Programs and Resources
Now that we’ve learned a bit more about Black-owned businesses, it’s time to consider what Black entrepreneur programs exist that might assist in these efforts. The Black entrepreneur resources found below only scratch the surface of what programs are available nowadays. For those seeking to grow and expand their Black-owned business, one of these organizations could be the gateway toward achieving goals you’ve been waiting for to succeed.
For Black women looking to scale and expand their entrepreneurial goals, Black Girl Ventures is a lucrative choice to explore. Black Girl Ventures is no rookie within the business world. BGV works with a diverse selection of industries such as NIKE and Equilibria. Since the organization’s creation in 2016, they have funded over 130 women through pitch-based competitions, making BGV not only a valuable resource but an accessible avenue toward financing an exciting business concept.
- Featured in Forbes, Good Morning America, and Entrepreneur Magazine
- Boasts a corporate fellowship program and active online community
- Pitch-based competitions that can help fresh business owners secure funding
- Has raised over $2,000,000 in financing for Black women looking to grow their business
Every great business requires a professional choosing to start somewhere. The Black upStart is a great Black entrepreneur program for new business professionals looking to further develop their business operations and fundamentals. With a great community and ample networking opportunities, this is a lucrative option for product-based businesses or concepts that have made less than $50,000.
- Educational resource for new business owners with a faculty of professors, government professionals, and entrepreneurs with proven experience
- Helps entrepreneurs in numerous fields, from beauty and clothing to consulting services
- Individuals coaching and boot camps with flexible course schedules
- The program encourages monetizing skills, sale strategies, and solidified financial planning
Another popular resource for Black entrepreneurs is the venture capital firm, Vertical 404. Vertical 404 is a valuable resource for U.S-based businesses with a Black, Latino/a, or/and female founder that utilizes cloud-based technology. Vertical 404 also boasts a 10-week accelerator program. Vertical 404 is a good option for fresh business owners that need insight into marketing and customer acquisition.
- Program participants gain one-on-one coaching and fundraising help
- Vertical 404 invests between $140-450,000 in funding to qualified businesses that agree to a diversity hiring agreement, demonstrate a 3-month recurring revenue of $10,000, and hold c-corp status
- A great virtual option for working individuals who appreciate self-guided learning experiences
COVID threw a devastating blow to numerous areas of commerce, especially for small businesses first starting to grow, but luckily The Coalition to Back Black Businesses is here to help. Supporting Black-owned businesses through funding and training, this organization seeks to award 300 grants per year to qualified businesses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization assisted in issuing grants to Black businesses who suffered due to the fallout of the pandemic.
- Reputable corporate sponsors include Us. Black Chambers, American Express, AIG Foundation, and more
- Multi-year training and funding programs to Black individuals who own at least 51% of a business in an economically sensitive area
- Boasts a mentorship program and other educational resources to provide a surplus of online information on numerous topics
For new or struggling businesses, educational training and Black entrepreneur programs can pave the way toward understanding and future success. The National Urban League is an urban advocacy and civil rights organization that has been around for over a century. Their mission is to work with the underserved communities in America to guarantee their civil rights and prosperity through economic empowerment and educational opportunities.
- The organization has 90 affiliates that serve 300 communities in the U.S.
- Features a large variety of services and resources to minority sole proprietors in need of counseling and training opportunities.
Black entrepreneurs that are beginning to scale their services may find some unique needs down the road, which is when MORTAR steps in. MORTAR is an entrepreneurial program that helps aspiring business owners manage the launch of their business to support growth and profit. MORTAR has numerous local partnerships that can allow entrepreneurs to access PR training, marketing information, legal assistance, and more.
- Cincinnati-based cohorts seek to assist with fresh businesses that would benefit from business management resources
- Courses cover multiple business topics boasting guest speakers, collaborative mentorship opportunities, and Black entrepreneur programs
- Entrepreneurs can sell their products online through MORTAR or in-person at pop-up events
Another exceptional resource for Black entrepreneurs is the National Minority Supplier Development Council or NMSDC. The NMSDC supports minority business enterprises (MBE) of various sizes by promoting these businesses into supply chains. The NMSDC actively seeks out investors for MBE and provides intensive educational programs and networking opportunities for interested professionals.
- Sponsored by Chase for Business, many free digital workshops cover a large expanse of business topics such as scaling a company, financial planning and handling economic hardship.
- Offers scholarships and networking workshops for business owners looking to grow and expand their audience.
- Boasts numerous companies that have pledged to support MBE, such as Google, Honda, UPS, and more.
Last but certainly not least among the options for Black professionals seeking assistance or business programs is the Small Business Administration 8(a) Development program (SBA 8[a]). Developed to create a level playing for socially and economically struggling small businesses, any business that is at least 51% Black-owned is qualified to compete for profitable government contracts.
- Competitive and lucrative government contracts and help with navigating said federal contracts.
- Provides training to small businesses that are certified by the SBA.
Learn More About Online Degree Programs with Bible College Online
The amazing increase in Black-owned businesses in recent years has brought a welcomed influx of supportive resources and educational programs available for Black-owned businesses to utilize. While there are plenty of Black entrepreneur programs out there, a bit of research is encouraged to choose the best organization for your business needs. With the help of Bible College Online, Black entrepreneurs can be one step closer to their goals.
For young entrepreneurs seeking to grow their business that wishes to earn a bachelor’s or master’s while still focusing on their business, an online degree can be a great choice. Explore Bible College Online’s online programs to learn if a degree would elevate your goals. Learn more today!