Women-led businesses are on the rise, and more specifically those led by women of color in the Black and Latinx communities. Between 2007 and 2018, women-owned businesses grew by 58 percent. During that time, Latina-owned businesses grew 172 percent and Black women-owned businesses grew 164 percent. Asian-American women-owned businesses grew faster than women-owned businesses overall.

But this surge in entrepreneurship faced a hurdle in 2020: COVID-19 disproportionately affected minority-owned businesses. And for all of the gains, a 2021 report by the Department of Commerce highlighted that nearly 83 percent of female business owners are white.

Add to that an overall lack of mentorship and business resources available to these communities, and it’s clear why businesses led by female minorities face unique challenges. 

To help address those challenges, as well as potential issues finding funding, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help Black, Asian-American, and Latina women business owners.

  • The Growth Initiative from the National Minority Supplier Development Council allows certified minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) to access equity capital from institutional investors with the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC), a network of diverse private-equity firms and hedge funds.
  • Accion, a nonprofit lending network, helps underserved entrepreneurs including low-income entrepreneurs, women, and entrepreneurs of color.
  • Opportunity Fund provides loans to low- and moderate-income businesses in the arts, and those promoting economic and social justice. The group is focused on helping African Americans achieve representation in more traditional seats of power.

If you’re curious about additional funding opportunities beyond those listed here, Women and Minority Businesses is an organization that offers a regularly updated list of grants and loans available, including state- (and even city-) specific offerings.

Grow your network and education

For many industries, in addition to what you know, who you know is paramount. Before seeking guidance and support, reflect on what you need from a mentor and consider where to connect with them.

To find a network of entrepreneurs to grow with and learn from, here are some places to start:

It may also be helpful to register your business as a woman- and minority-owned entity. This registration could help you access business opportunities with the federal government, or with companies actively seeking out diverse partners.

The path to leading a successful, sustainable business cannot be carved out alone. Reach out to these groups for resources that may help you reach your unique business goals.

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