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.

Disadvantaged Businesses

Business assistance

Government contracting


Private businesses