Useful Business Resources

Learn more about some of the resources available for Small and Minority Owned Businesses to help business owners operate their businesses more efficiently and scale.

2024 NBA Foundation All-Star Pitch Competition

The 2024 NBA Foundation All-Star Pitch Competition, in collaboration with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Elevate Ventures, Be Nimble Foundation, and Sixty8 Capital, is a unique opportunity for diverse tech entrepreneurs in Indiana. This event, set to occur during NBA All-Star 2024, features two rounds of pitch competition with a live final. Participants will receive coaching and technical assistance, competing for cash prizes of at least $150,000. The competition is open to diverse entrepreneurs across various sectors, offering a chance to secure funding and gain mentorship from NBA Family business leaders.

Deadline: December 13, 2023

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Aveeno: The Startup Collective

Win up to $100,000 for your beauty business, ongoing mentorship opportunities from AVEENO® business leaders and industry experts!

Deadline: August 13th 2023

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National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge

If you have an idea for a Black-owned startup that is scalable, it might benefit you to research the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Scale-Up Pitch Challenge. NBMBAA designed a competition to “Make Big Ideas Bigger.” The competition aims to give eligible startups the opportunity to connect with venture capitalists and other early-stage investors.

NBMBAA’s judges will also select three finalists to receive cash awards. The grand prize is a small business grant worth $50,000.

When the application process is live, eligible businesses can make a virtual pitch to a panel of judges by sharing their business idea. Finalists will later have the chance to make a live, three-minute pitch to the judges explaining why their product or service should be considered for the grant.

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Black Girl Ventures Grant.

Black Girl Ventures (BGV) is hosting a pitch competition exclusively for Black/Brown female business owners. Prizes include a $10,000 grant for the first-place winner, $6,000 for second place, and $2,000 for third place. BGV's unique approach involves coaching, live crowdfunded pitches, and community connections. The application deadline is November 10, 2023. Eligibility requires at least one year in business, revenue generation, and 51% ownership by Black/Brown women founder(s).

Deadline: November 10, 2023

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Innovation Corps at NIH Program for NIH and CDC Translational Research.

The NIH and CDC are offering a grant to help small businesses that are already working on medical projects supported by previous grants. The goal is to speed up the development and commercialization of new medical technologies. This grant will provide training in entrepreneurship and innovation to these small businesses, teaching them how to understand the market value of their inventions and move them from the lab to the commercial world. The program involves a course where participants interview potential customers and partners to learn more about their technology's potential impact. This helps them refine their projects and develop strategies for commercialization. The grant supports travel and other expenses related to the training program, and selected teams will participate in an eight-week entrepreneurial program.

Deadline: November 15, 2023

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U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Grant

The U.S. DOE has various grants available to small businesses in the education sector. Each grant has unique eligibility criteria, with some opportunities set aside for public schools, state agencies, or nonprofit organizations; however, others allow applications from for-profit private sector companies. Deadlines for currently available DOE grants range from August 31, 2023 to January 11, 2024.

Deadline: January 11, 2024

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Blueprint Medtech Small Business Translator Grant

This is a government grant for small businesses working on creating medical devices to treat nervous system disorders. It supports activities like making prototype devices, safety testing, and clinical studies to get approval from the FDA. The grant is a cooperative program where the NIH helps plan and monitor the research. It also provides funding and access to experts for things like regulations, patents, and manufacturing. Small businesses with their device ideas or collaborations with manufacturers can apply for this grant to advance their projects.

Deadline: February 20, 2024

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Small Business Growth Fund

The Small Business Growth Fund is back for the third and final round of 2023! In partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and with funding from Etsy and Progressive, the Small Business Growth Fund provides small business owners the capital they need to make their next move. Recipients will receive $5,000-$25,000 grants to help accelerate their growth and achieve their goals.

Deadline: October 27, 2023

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FHL Bank Indianapolis: The HomeBoost Minority Down Payment Assistance Program

The HomeBoost Minority Down Payment Assistance Program offers a $15,000 grant to first-time homebuyers from specific minority groups with a household income at or below 120% of the local Area Median Income, intending to buy a primary residence in Indiana or Michigan. The pilot round starts on September 5, 2023, with $2.5 million available and operates on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are used or until March 5, 2024. Eligible applicants should contact Rachel Barnhart via email at, phone at 317-517-0236 for assistance in accessing the grant money.

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We back black businesses

A grant making initiative to provide immediate financial assistance and long-term support for America’s Black-owned small businesses

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Square Black Equity Grant - $15k

This program will provide Black-led platform partners with both financial support as well as increased exposure and visibility.

Deadline: Rolling

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The Future Collective For Black-Owned Businesses by Fiverr

The Future Collective supports Black entrepreneurs by maximizing their opportunities for growth. The program was founded on our responsibility and desire to use our privileged position in the corporate world to enable a more equitable playing field for entrepreneurs who face systemic structures, cultural barriers, or life circumstances working against them.

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Real Estate Assistance Fund for Black-Owned Businesses

With financial support from Cummins, through their Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE) initiative, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, LISC Indianapolis has established a real estate assistance fund to provide up to $20,000 grants for Black businesses in Indianapolis that are seeking to purchase commercial property or retain their commercial property through capital improvements. This grant can be applied toward the down payment and/or closing costs.

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Fast Break for Small Business

Black-owned and diverse businesses can seek grant funding through the Fast Break for Small Business program, which is sponsored by LegalZoom as well as the NBA, WNBA and NBA. The program aims to distribute grants to more than 5,000 small businesses for a total of $6 million in cash awards. Grants come in $10,000 increments, and winners will also receive $500 in LegalZoom services.

The next round of grant applications opens in the spring of 2022. You can sign up online for updates regarding future funding opportunities.

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First Nations Development Institute Grants

Since 1993, First Nations has been offering grants to help support Native American organizations and projects, totaling $51.6 million in grants, along with technical resources.

Past grant opportunities include programs for Covid-19 response, native youth and culture support, college scholarships and a native youth business plan competition, among others. Visit the First Nations website to learn more about new grant opportunities when they become available.

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The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program

The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program allows business owners to apply for a grant useful for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used their grant for computers, farm equipment, to hire part-time help, marketing materials and more.

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Through the site, business owners can view over 1,000 federal grant programs, conduct an in-depth search, learn about the application process and ultimately apply.

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The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that aims to assist minority-owned businesses across the country.

It provides a number of grants and loans for minority-owned firms, including: the Entrepreneurship Education Program for Formerly Incarcerated Persons Grant, the Enterprising Women of Color Grant and the Minority Business Enterprise Inner City Innovation Hub Grant.

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Foundation for Business Equity (FBE)

The Foundation for Business Equity’s Business Equity Initiative supports and provides funding for Black and Latinx business owners.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the FBE created a “response strategy team” to advise these businesses and created a “Covid-19 emergency fund” aimed to provide flexible loans and crisis response support teams to Massachusetts-based Black and Latinx businesses with revenues of at least $250,000.

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The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)

The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) is a non-profit corporate membership organization that supports minority-owned businesses. The NMSDC has a grant program called the Business Consortium Fund, which is intended to support certified minority-owned businesses.

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Backstage Capital

Backstage Capital is a venture capital fund that invests in women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. Its Entrepreneur Investment applications are viewed on a rolling basis.

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The Coalition to Back Black Businesses

The Coalition to Back Black Businesses is a partnership of several brands that have come together with the goal of empowering Black-owned businesses.

The Coalition is supplying $14 million in minority grants, resources and training over a span of four years through 2023 that is meant to help small businesses recover from pandemic-related setbacks. The Coalition includes American Express, ADP, AIG Foundation, Altice USA, Dow and the S&P Global Foundation.

Select businesses will qualify for grants in the amount of $5,000 each fall, in combination with training and mentorship benefits. When the summer arrives, a few initial grant recipients will receive additional $25,000 enhancement grants as a means of additional funding and support.

Eligible businesses must be Black-owned enterprises located in economically distressed communities. You can apply on the Coalition’s website in the fall when the application process opens. The grant committee will select 400 or more eligible applicants at random to receive cash awards and other benefits.

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Verizon Small Business Digital Ready

Grow your small business with valuable resources like free online courses, tools, coaching, peer networking and grants.

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The Indiana Small Business Development Center

The Indiana SBDC is committed to creating positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses by providing entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources.

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Comcast RISE is supporting the growth of all small businesses and entrepreneurs committed to uplifting their local communities.

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Accion is a nonprofit organization that provides loans, access to resources and connections to diverse business owners and entrepreneurs. Its application for minority-owned business loans is available on its site.

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