Minority Business Lending, 2018

Being a minority small business owner can be particularly challenging due to issues that other business owners don't face, like racial and gender discrimination, having low (or no) collateral and having a low credit scores. These factors definitely make it harder to finance a business. There are, however, resources that can help make financing your business easier, given these constraints.

Here are a few:

SBA Loans

While we have not been impressed with the outcome of their efforts focusing on African American businesses, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers services and programs you need to know about if you are looking to start or fund a minority business. To begin with, SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program is focused on small businesses that are 51% or more owned and controlled by members of disadvantaged subgroups by ethnicity or race. The program offers a plethora of business support services, including financial assistance, business counseling, and mentoring. The SBA also has the Community Advantage Loan Programme which provides credit, management, and technical assistance to small businesses in underserved markets. Qualifying for this program, unlike traditional loan programs, is dependent on the amount of collateral held by or the balance sheet of the business. The program offers management and technical assistance and up to $250,000 in credit with a maximum interest rate of 6%. Business owners looking for smaller loan amounts should consider the SBA microloan program, which provides loans of $50,000 or less.

Private Financial Institutions and Loan Funds

Several private financial institutions and loan funds target minority entrepreneurs. For example, the Business Center for New Americans’ Microloan Program provides loans and microloans to small businesses who are unable to borrow from traditional lenders despite demonstrating an ability to repay a loan. Reasons for rejection can include too small loan amount or a low credit score . These loans range in size from $500 to a maximum of $50,000. The loan term can be for up to three years.

Another option is the Union Bank Business Diversity Lending program for people of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, African American, Asian, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Hispanic or Latino descent. The program helps minority business owners meet financing requirements. The business must have been operating for two years and lending is not available to business with sales exceeding $25 million. The maximum loan amount is $2.5 million.

Online Lenders

This option is for owners with low credit or low capital who need quick short-term loans. Some examples of these include Kabbage, LoanBuilder and Fundbox. See:



Grants represent a cheaper way to finance your business since they do not, in most cases, require repayment. While there are several grant programs targeting minority entrepreneurs, there is a lot of competition for them. Further, each grant has strict guidelines concerning eligibility and, upon succeeding, how the money can be spent.

This short guide indicates that there are a range of financing options for minority business owners. Review the data and the websites mentioned and choose the option(s) that suits you best..




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