Black History Month is celebrated from February 1 – February 29 to recognize, celebrate, and learn more about Black history and the achievements of Black Americans. Black Americans have and continue to shape the U.S. culture and economy through small business and entrepreneurship.
There are more than 3 million black-owned businesses in the United States that contribute over $200 billion to the U.S. economy annually as well as create about 1.2 million jobs, according to the U.S Joint Economic Committee.
In saying this, funding can often be an obstacle for minority-owned businesses, particularly black-owned businesses. According to the New York Federal Bank’s 2021 business credit survey, black-owned businesses were less than half as likely as white-owned businesses to obtain all of their requested funding.
Rising Tide exists to bridge that gap and increase black-owned access to funding. We work to create access and investment opportunities through affordable loans and business financing, mentorship and business advising, educational resources, and marketing assistance. The Rising Tide team can also help your business register as a diverse business and gain access to contracts with larger corporations.
Here is a list of resources and funding opportunities for black-owned businesses:
- Black Women Connecting: Lehigh Valley is a networking group for black women in the Lehigh Valley to meet and connect.
- Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce African American Business Leaders Council is a Lehigh Valley community that hosts events to lead economic empowerment, foster and recognize excellence in the African American Business Community.
- CDFIs like Rising Tide Community Loan Fund that exist to provide new sources of capital to groups and areas that lack access to funding. The Rising Tide team can also assist with applying for a diverse business certification.
- Blackconnect.org provides networking opportunities, business educational programs, activities, events, pitch competitions, and mentorship programs.
- Black Business Alliance offers services to minority business owners through networking, business training, and technical assistance.
- Black Owned Everything is a retail site whose goal is to “elevate the visibility of Black-owned brands.
- Shopify offers a free 120-day trial specifically for black businesses as well as a “Build Black Community,” where black business leaders can engage with each other and participate in monthly workshops.
- Walker’s Legacy Foundation supports black women through entrepreneurial, financial, and professional support.
- Coalition to Back Black Businesses offers grants and follow-up mentorship and training to black-owned businesses with three to 20 employees.
- Elevate Together is a nonprofit that supports Black and Hispanic business owners with five or fewer employees through workshops, technical assistance, grants, or donations.
- Fast Break for Small Business is a grant opportunity offered for Black-owned businesses worth $10,000. This is provided by Legal Zoom, the NBA, WNBA, and NBA G League.
- FedEx Small Business Grant Contest awards ten businesses grants each year to grow and develop their business.
- National Black MBA Association offers networking, scholarships, training, pitch challenges, and mentorship opportunities to black entrepreneurs pursuing their MBA.
- National Minority Supplier Development Council links small business owners with larger corporations.
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is a U.S. Department of Commerce that supports black entrepreneurs through business capital, securing contracts, and facilitating partnerships.