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Small Business Grants Vs. Minority Business Grants

Couple Who Won Business Grants
A couple wins a small business
grant through the Minority Business
Plan Competition in Philadelphia.

The motivation behind small business grants is primarily to boost the economy.  The Small Business Act defines a small business as one that is “independently owned and operated and which is not dominant in its field of operation.”  The Act also states that the definition of a small business shall vary from industry to industry.  (For more information, see www.sba.gov).

Usually, such grants are given by federal and local governments with the long-term goal of rebuilding a large community of other small businesses. Such grants are designed to intentionally leave out large corporations because they already exercise a controlling or major influence on industries.  The government’s objective is to protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

The motivation behind small business grants for minorities is to help the disadvantaged. Many organizations that provide small business grants will focus on assisting certain groups of people.  The reasons may vary due to their being members of these particular groups, or simply their desire to help certain groups who have struggled for years to be successful.

There are several types of business grants designed to help specific groups of small business owners, such as minorities, women, and even disabled veterans. The purpose of these grants are the same in that they are available to provide financial assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to either start or expand a company.

The difference is that the grantor has earmarked the funds toward a specific group and sometimes even a specific business objective within that group.  Generally, the motivation is to assist a group of people who are disadvantaged. Women, for example, make up 51% of the population but continue to struggle for equal opportunities and equal pay and often have to contend with sex discrimination and harassment.  Grant funds may come from a private  organization owned by a woman who understands their difficulties and wants to help.  The Amber Foundation Grants, for example, were launched in 1998 to assist women who are trying to start small businesses, either at home or on the Internet. The grant money is intended to help them buy computer equipment, start up their web site, and pay for other start-up business expenses.

Minority-owned companies, too, will provide private grant funding for small businesses owned by minorities, such as Blacks and Hispanics. By creating business grants for women or minorities, the funding sources are providing an opportunity for these targeted groups to fulfill their dreams, improve their lives, and succeed.

In conclusion, both small business grants and minority business grants serve two important purposes: to keep the economy thriving, and to help the disadvantaged also be successful business owners who will in turn keep both local and national economies growing.


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