Photo Credit: iStock Photo.
Photo Credit: iStock Photo.

Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency to provide $100 Million grant to entrepreneurs in underserved areas

The grant program is the largest the Commerce Department has seen.


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The U.S Department of Commerce has recently announced they are launching their Capital Readiness Program grant competition, which will provide $93.5 million to up and coming entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds.

The purpose of the workshop is to give these business owners the opportunity for their business to grow without having to be concerned about the financial hardships.

The new program is being launched by the Minority Business Development Agency, which is also the largest program ever to be created by the Department of Commerce.

Small businesses that are involved in the program are in high-growth industries, such as healthcare, climate resilient technology, asset management, infrastructure, and more.

Another goal that the readiness program is hoping to achieve is to see more women-owned businesses prosper. Businesses created by women of color are usually fast growing and successful; however, the model of the program will provide them with curriculum, and different tools for minority entrepreneurs to access capital and funding.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo stated that during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses run by Black and Brown women most likely struggled the hardest. She is hoping that the Readiness Program will reverse a lot of that damage.

“This new program reflects President Biden’s and the Commerce Department’s continued historic commitment to underserved business owners and entrepreneurs,” said Raimondo. “During the pandemic, women and minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs were among the hardest hit, often lacking the resources they needed to keep their doors open. We can’t let this happen again. That’s why the Capital Readiness Program prioritizes and encourages resources and tools, such as childcare services, that will ensure more people can launch and scale businesses.”

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves also agrees that Black and Hispanic women do not get a fair chance when starting their own ventures.

“In 2020, Black and Hispanic female founders accounted for less than half of a percent of total venture capital investments,” said Graves. “Jumpstarting the next generation of entrepreneurs and ensuring diverse representation in these high-growth industries is essential, not only to spurring innovation, but also to building a more resilient economy that’s reflective of all Americans.”

MBDA’s Capital Readiness Program receives financial support from the Department of Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and is reauthorized under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The SSBCI has provided over $10 billion throughout the country in order to increase small business revenue and promote small businesses.

Beginning in January, MBDA will host informational pre-application webinars. The webinars are provided to people who are interested in the readiness program. They will learn more about the program. 

The webinars are scheduled on Jan. 10, 17, and 24, 2023 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time.


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