Grants and Resources for Minority Content Creators 2020
Whether you operate a minority-owned business/production company or are an independent content creator, there are many grants, certifications, and resources that can help you get ahead. We know how time-consuming researching opportunities can be, so we’ve put together this list to give you more time to do what you love: create.
In addition to the specific resources below, be sure to check out the Federal Grants Directory. Not only can you search for different grants available for small businesses (and filter by category and eligibility levels), but you can also get valuable grant writing and application tips.
If you’re looking for video production opportunities, we’re looking for you. Learn more about becoming a QuickFrame creator here.
Here’s a list of our favorite resources for minority content creators for 2020.
Grants for Minority Creators & Small Business Owners
Grants have varying eligibility requirements and deadlines, so be sure to read up on all of the details before you apply.
Minority Business Development Agency Grants
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), run by the U.S. Department of Commerce, offers different grant competitions throughout the year. You’ll find open competitions listed on the Federal Grants Directory—they all have different application and eligibility requirements. MBDA also has a searchable database of local business centers that can partner with your company to help you penetrate new markets.
Amber Grants for Women
WomensNet awards a monthly grant of $4000 to women entrepreneurs. One recipient is selected each year to receive an additional $25,000 Amber Grant. Learn more and apply here—the application fee is $15.
Asian Women Giving Circle Grants
The Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) is the first and largest giving circle in the nation led by Asian American women. The organization has one grants cycle per year, with a Request for Proposals (RFP) typically released in January. Get more details about this org on their website.
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
FedEx runs an annual program that awards U.S.-based small businesses grants between $15,000 and $50,000. Applications typically open early in the year, and the 12 winners for 2020 have already been chosen. Learn about past winners here and be sure to subscribe to the FedEx newsletter to stay on top of the next entry period dates.
First Nations Development Institute Grants
First Nations founded its national grant program in 1993 and has awarded close to 2000 grants totaling $4.2 million to Native American projects and organizations. Their website is updated regularly with new opportunities.
LEF Foundation Moving Image Fund
The LEF is a private family foundation that funds filmmakers and production teams in New England, California, and New Mexico. Each contest has different eligibility requirements; cash awards to support production range from $15,000 to $25,000. More details at LEF Foundation.
NASE Grants for Small Businesses
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) has grants worth up to $4000 each for “micro-business owners” that can help take your business to the next level. You’ll have to join NASE and remain in good standing for at least 3 months before applying. More details and application here.
NBMBAA Scale-Up Pitch Challenge
Looking for investors to help execute a large idea? The National Black MBA Association runs an annual $50,000 pitch contest. To be eligible, you must be a U.S. resident, your company must have a founder who is Black (of African descent), and there must be at least one member of your team who is an active member in the National Black MBA Association. Applications for this year’s contest closed on August 1, but you can stay up to date on this annual contest here.
USA Grants for Women
The U.S. Government runs a directory of a wide range of grants specifically for women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs. Grants are not just for business expenses—the directory includes housing grants, education/tuition scholarships, and personal assistance grants to help with expenses such as medical bills or home repair. See the full directory here.
The Veteran Small Business Award
The StreetShares Foundation, an organization that supports the military entrepreneurial community, runs an annual contest that awards three grants ($15,000, $6,000, and $4,000) to veterans of the US Armed Forces. To apply, you’ll need to record a short 2-min. video discussing your business. Stay on top of the award here.
Certifications and Associations for Minority Creators & Small Business Owners
Getting a certification or joining an association can help you extend your professional network. Some associations even offer exclusive access to programs, grants, and resources that can propel your career.
8(a) Business Development Program
The federal government’s 8(a) program helps provide a “level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities.” In addition to receiving business mentorship and assistance, members of the program can compete for specifically set-aside federal contracts. Details at sba.gov.
The Black TV & Film Collective
The Black TV & Film Collective works to create career-advancing opportunities for Black and Brown artists in the entertainment industry. In addition to providing production support, the org runs various workshops, labs, and networking events. Learn more here.
According to their website, the Blackhouse “helps Black creative voices and executives gain a better foothold” in film and television through education and relationship-building. You can learn more about the org and get in touch at theblackhouse.org.
National Black MBA Association
The National Black MBA Association was founded in 1970 and is the “premier business organization serving Black professionals.” If you work in the corporate world, a membership can connect you with Black professionals who provide coaching, guidance, and mentorship. NBMBAA offers a variety of membership opportunities ranging from $15 to $200/year.
National Minority Supplier Development Council
The National Minority Supplier Development Council matches minority-owned businesses with their vast network of corporations looking for services and solutions. Membership in NMSDC also unlocks access to exclusive grants and loans. Learn more about certification criteria and the application process here.
NYS Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise Certification
If your business is based in New York State, an MWBE certification can get you exclusive access to government projects and make you instantly eligible for a wide variety of grants. Learn more about the eligibility requirements and the steps for applying here.
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