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Empowering Minority Entrepreneurs

Grow your Business

The Small Business Administration (SBA) strives to empower minority entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities by providing resources for their development and growth. It is committed to supporting minority-owned small businesses and independent entrepreneurs who have faced systemic barriers in accessing capital and resources.

Leveling the Playing Field

The SBA uses its extensive network of field offices, strategic partnerships, and resources to level the playing field for business owners who have historically faced obstacles in accessing wealth and business opportunities. Its mission is to ensure that all entrepreneurs have an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed.

Partnering for Success

The SBA partners with independent organizations to provide tailored advice and training to meet the unique needs of small businesses. This network of partner resources includes SCORE Business Mentors, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Entrepreneurial Centers (WBCs), Business Service Centers, and Veterans Affairs (VBOC) centers. Many of these resources are located at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), providing access to high-quality business guidance for entrepreneurs at all stages

Accelerating Growth

The SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative is an intensive executive-level program aimed at accelerating the growth of high-potential small businesses in underserved cities across America. The program provides customized training to “C” level executives with demonstrated business sustainability, helping them create a three-year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets. The goal is to help these businesses become self-sufficient, create jobs, and build stronger communities.

Dedicated Support

The US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is dedicated to supporting the growth and global competitiveness of businesses owned by underrepresented groups, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Hasidic Jews, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. The agency provides access to technical assistance, capital, and markets, helping minority-owned businesses succeed and thrive.

Funding Assistance

While the federal government does not offer business startup grants, there are numerous financing programs available to support entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, or recover from crises.

Small business owners can explore various funding options, including those aimed at minorities and underserved communities, by contacting SBA-approved lenders. Additionally, the SBA has rolled out a range of COVID-19 assistance programs to aid struggling businesses.

SBA Business Empowerment Programs and Credentials

The 8(a) Business Empowerment Program

This initiative aims to bolster the growth of socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses by reserving certain contracts for program participants. By reducing competition, participating businesses can become more competitive in the federal marketplace.

Under the 8(a) program, eligible small businesses can:

  • Compel for procurement contracts with a single vendor in the program.
  • Get assigned a business opportunity specialist to help navigate federal contracting.
  • Collaborate with established businesses through the SBA Mentor-Protege Program to form joint ventures.
  • Gain access to technical and administrative support, including business training, consulting, marketing assistance, and senior executive development.
  • Compete for contract awards under multiple socioeconomic programs.

To be eligible for the 8(a) business empowerment program, certain criteria must be met and certification obtained.

The HUB Zone Initiative

The HUB Zone initiative aims to limit competition for specific contracts to businesses located in historically underutilized business areas. The program targets a minimum of three percent of the federal budget for contract awards to certified HUBZone businesses.

SBA Mentor-Protégé Program

The SBA Mentor-Protégé Program offers small businesses (protégés) the opportunity to work alongside more experienced businesses (mentors) to gain valuable support in winning government contracts and building their business.

Other Government Contracting Programs

Apart from the aforementioned programs, the SBA provides additional certifications and initiatives to aid small businesses in government contracting.

SBA Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Civil Rights

All SBA programs and services are available to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. To learn more about the office of inclusion, diversity, and civil rights, visit the SBA website or contact the relevant office.



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