Small business owners often face unique challenges throughout their entrepreneurial journey, from understanding the financing options available to establishing a budget-friendly marketing strategy. Still, as specific as the needs of small businesses may be, minority-owned small businesses often face additional challenges along the way. For example, recent research shows that Black-owned businesses were granted a significantly lower number of PPP loans through traditional banks and large financial institutions. That’s why so many of these businesses instead turned to fintech companies for support during the pandemic.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 2.4% of employer businesses in the United States are Black- or African American-owned. The unique obstacles that minority-owned businesses face—e.g., lack of personalized training, limited access to capital—come with a need for unique solutions. That’s why we’ve created a resource guide for Black entrepreneurs to better support them along their small business journey.
This list of resources is to help Black small business owners overcome the existing barriers to success. We hope these tools can further empower Black entrepreneurs as we collectively strive to reduce hurdles, create equal opportunities, and level the small business playing field.
When you’re a budding entrepreneur, there’s plenty of work to be done even before your business is off the ground. Training courses and workshops are the perfect way to build a strong foundation for your business during the pre-launch phase.
These organizations provide workshops that offer business training from the perspective of the Black entrepreneurial experience for a stronger foundation.
Once you’ve got some training under your belt, it’s time to take the next step towards launching your small business: finding capital. While your financial needs as a small business owner may change depending on how far along your business is, it’s crucial to have reliable financial resources to further fuel your growth throughout the process of launching and operating your business.
If you’re just starting and need capital for your new business, consider these crowdfunding and early-stage financial resources aimed specifically at empowering Black entrepreneurs.
Further along with your business? Keep the momentum going by working with a small business lending partner such as a fintech (that’s us!) to boost your cash flow and help you scale your business. With fintech’s strong track record for supporting minority-owned businesses, this is a great way for Black entrepreneurs to find the financial support that might be lacking from big banks.
If you or your business meet certain criteria, you may also be able to apply for grants through these programs:
- Minority Business Development Agency (MDBA)
- Coalition to Back Black Businesses
- National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
- Black Girl Ventures
Any business—big or small—needs customers to grow. For small businesses, though, the challenge of reaching prospective buyers or clients can be particularly daunting given limitations like budget constraints or lack of marketing expertise.
For Black-owned small businesses, a great way to grow brand awareness and find high-intent customers is to work with business directories focused on helping consumers find Black-owned businesses to support.
Finding your footing as a small business owner is an ongoing process that often calls for continuous learning.
To keep yourself evolving as an entrepreneur and ensure that your business continues growing with you, tap into these publications, workshops, podcasts, and other valuable Black entrepreneurial resources.
- Black Business Guide
- Black Entrepreneur Blueprint Podcast
- Black to Business
- Building Black Biz
- Side Hustle Pro Podcast
Networking and community
Community can be a major source of support and knowledge for small business owners, no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey. That is especially true for minority entrepreneurs, who benefit even more from the opportunities, information, and mentorship that come from connecting with like-minded individuals.
Build meaningful relationships and take advantage of networking opportunities through these organizations and events that help foster the Black business community.
Note: Images for this blog post were sourced from TONL, a Black-owned stock photography library that is dedicated to creating more representation, diversity, and cultural visibility in visual assets used by companies and publications.