Minority Government Grants

In order to appreciate the diversity of government grants available to minorities as minority government grants, understand that word encompasses ethnic, racial, gender, as well as sexual orientation. Further, and equally important, too, is the acknowledgement that minority includes the disabled, vulnerable adults, and religious groups. As with all things governmental, it is important to acknowledge the fact that most government grants mean a minority “group” as opposed to a single individual. While exceptions exist such as education grants for minorities, most government grants whether at the federal, state, county, or local government levels, provide funds to “groups,” generally not to individuals.

At the federal level, register with Grants.gov to receive daily announcements on current federal funding opportunities for minority government grants. This clearinghouse provides the most time-efficient way to conduct research, and you will know within a few minutes whether or not the business or organization qualifies. The eligibility requirements read like a “who’s who” list: Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions; Hispanic-serving Institutions; Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities by way of example.

If, during the course of the research, it is determined that the business and/or organization qualifies then it is essential to register with the CCR (Central Contractor Registration). This is a mandatory registration for any entity seeking government grants, and must be done prior to any grant submission. While there are other documents required for any kind of federal grant, they are highlighted in both the Funding Announcement, and the Instructions to the Funding Opportunity.

As with the federal government, states have similar minority grants. And as with the federal government, states determine eligibility, rules, stipulations and restrictions. Some states, such as Georgia, do not provide minority grants for business start-ups although the state does fund minority enterprises in key industries: technology-based, educational, and research and development. These key industries have often been, and continue to be, underrepresented by minorities, including women.

States like Washington offer grant and loan programs, and information is readily accessible at www.wa.gov/business/financial.aspx. Consequently, it is important that minority-owned businesses and organizations conduct an extensive search at the state level to determine what government grants for minorities are offered.

Individuals belonging to a minority have opportunities to apply for government grants, and be awarded. Generally, these minority government grants take the form of fellowships. Fellowships are granted in diverse fields, and range from mathematics and engineering to MBA’s, chemistry and bioethics, to clinical and counseling psychology.

But what these minority grants provide is the ways and the means for under represented minorities to enter into fields of study that have, in the past, been essentially “off limits.” Fellowships, therefore, widen opportunities for minorities in their chosen professions.

Minority government grants are available, and like other grants, have rules and regulations attached to them. Generally, such grants are available to businesses and/or organizations that, in turn, must meet all requirements in order to submit a grant application.

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