Staying afloat is difficult for any business. For minority-owned businesses there are the added challenges: systemic disadvantages when it comes to access to resources such as small business loans, and almost-daily (if not daily) prejudice. Still, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and other minority groups continue to start their own small businesses, adding to the vibrancy and vitality of the national economy while empowering themselves and the communities they’re in. In fact, according to a 2012 SBA survey, “29% of businesses are majority-owned by minorities, and this share is quickly increasing”.
While there undoubtedly remains room for improvement, there are a number of resources out there specifically serving minority-owned businesses—and we’ve gathered them below.
Government & Non-Profit Resources for Minority-Owned Businesses
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
Established in 1969, the MBDA was established as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is solely committed to helping minority business owners. A range of information and services are provided, including web seminars, an event calendar, access to business research, and access to new contract opportunities.
- SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration established the 8(a) Business Development Program in order to specifically address the needs of small business owners who experience a disadvantage—economically or socially. Designed to help these businesses enter the broader economy, the program focuses helping these businesses acquire government contracts.
- National Minority Business Council
Founded in 1972, the National Minority Business Council helps minority entrepreneurs in the Tri-State New York area and across the country. The non-profit provides business assistance, educational programs, listings and directories that can help in securing new contracts and clients.
- Local Chambers of Commerce
If you’re in the very early stages of starting or growing your small business, we suggest looking into your local chamber of commerce for assistance. New York, for example, has several chambers of commerce devoted to specific minority groups (like the New York State Black Chamber of Commerce), as does Florida (the Minority Chamber of Commerce). If you live in a place that doesn’t have this type of program, refer to the national resources throughout this list.
- U.S. Black Chambers
Advocacy, entrepreneurial training, access to capital and new contracts are the pillars of the non-profit organization U.S. Black Chambers. The group also helps local black chambers to develop, providing technical assistance, leadership training, and the sharing of best practices and other relevant data.
- Black Business Association
The Black Business Association advocates for the development of African-American owned businesses across the country. Besides monitoring and championing legislation that would positively affect African-American owned business, the BBA also offers resources such as bid listings and events for networking.
- USHCC Hispanic Business Enterprise Program
The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the largest Hispanic business association in the United States. A powerful advocacy group, the USHCC established the Hispanic Business Enterprise Program, tailored specifically for Hispanic small business owners. The program provides a national resource for those small businesses that are looking to grow beyond their local economy.
- US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC)
Started in 1984, the USPAACC was developed to help foster the pan-Asian business community in the United States. A non-profit that acts as a portal to corporate and government contracts, the USPAACC offers a certification program that bestows national recognition, as well as educational services and resources for growth.
JumpStart’s primary service is intensive entrepreneurial development assistance delivered to Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs. The nonprofit works to help communities realize their entrepreneurial potential through business assistance, mentoring and access to capital.
Networks & Membership Organizations for Minority-Owned Businesses
- The National Minority Supplier Development Council
The National Minority Supplier Development Council helps its members enter broader supply chains throughout the United States. With its headquarters in New York and 23 affiliate regional offices, the NMSDC also offers educational opportunities and facilitates partnerships amongst its network.
- The Asian Business Association
The Asian Business Association represents Asian business owners and helps to advocate on behalf of them at the federal level. The membership organization also provides business training, education, and networking opportunities for Asian Americans who have their own business.
- The National Hispanic Business Group
Operating since 1985, the National Hispanic Business Group provides opportunities for Hispanic businesses by providing a bridge between the public and private sectors. The network is one of the largest collections of Hispanic business owners in the country, and offers regular meetings with owners from a diverse range of industries.
- Black Founders
The mission of Black Founders is to “increase the number of successful black entrepreneurs in technology.” The organization offers events, conferences and tools to help black tech entrepreneurs grow their business and become part of an ecosystem that provides support and resources.
Based on that statistic mentioned in the intro—that minorities will represent the majority in the U.S.—Code2040 works to guarantee that black and hispanic innovators have access to the things they need in order to enter and excel the technology industry. They offer an entrepreneur residency program in several U.S. cities.
Publications for Minority-Owned Businesses
- Minority Business Entrepreneur
Minority Business Entrepreneur Magazine has been published for 30 years, and contains a diverse range of minority voices and relevant information for minority-owned businesses. Features include POVs on strategy, business trends, and locally-targeted market analyses.
- Black Enterprise Small Business
Black Enterprise Small Business offers features that can help in all areas of business—from raising capital to best practices to individual stories of black small business owners.
- Latin Business Today
Latin Business Today contains a multitude of resources for Hispanic entrepreneurs—information about starting a business, growing it, and innovating in a global economy. Directed at Hispanic business owners, the publication offers information on market trends, best practices, and everyday challenges.
- The Asian Entrepreneur
With interviews, articles, and advice columns, The Asian Entrepreneur boasts the largest reserve of interviews with Asian entrepreneurs. It offers a global roundup of Asian business leaders, from the U.S. and Asia, and delves into consumer and competitive data as well as social media.