For the past 30 years there have been government and private programs to encourage minority and women-owned entrepreneurship. During this time, the number of minority and women-owned businesses have grown significantly. So have we done the job? Why are there still special programs?
The following shows why these businesses are being called disadvantaged:
- In 2010, African-Americans were starting businesses with 11.5% of the capital of their non-Hispanic white counterparts.
- Minority businesses are clustered in non-growth industries.
- Minorities and women are less likely to incorporate or partner with others, which has been a key factor in determining success.
All of this means that these businesses still have a harder time surviving than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.
Below, you will find programs to assist minority and women-owned businesses. However, these programs are only the first step. According to Kaufmann Foundation studies, the next step is for minority and women-owned businesses to make a fundamental mind-shift and think BIG. Here are some ideas:
- Look for and diversify into growth opportunities.
- Think about mergers and strategic partnerships.
- Think beyond your current family business and create something that will reach beyond your local community.
- Realize that existing businesses NEED to connect to your community and don't know how. About 28% of the US population is minority (and 50% are women). The concentration of minorities among the younger population is even higher. No one can ignore this and stay in business. Your minority status can be your greatest asset.
- Be more visible - in organizations, on company boards, in your community.
- Get a business mentor or a team of mentors and then use every program available to grow your business.
- Denver Minority Business Center - serving minority businesses in Colorado, Montana and Utah
- Women's Business Development Center
- Business training at MiCasa
- Native American Business Primer from the SBA
- Federal government contracting SBA 8(a) Program
- Colorado Department of Transportation Emerging Small Business Program
- Women-owned Small Business Federal Contract Program
- Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Bonding Assistance Program
- Indian Incentive Program when selling to the Department of Defense
- USDA Loans for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers
- Export-Import Bank: Assistance for minority and women-owned businesses
- Certified by a Minority Supplier Development Council? Financing to fulfill contracts and purchase orders
- Native American? BIA 80% Loan Guaranty Program
- Woman-owned business? Loans from the Tory Burch Foundation and Accion USA