Resources For African American Women-Owned Businesses

#WOCinTech Chat

Starting your own business may seem insanely intimidating for anyone, but here at SELF MADE, we want you to know there is absolutely nothing holding you back. There are abundant African American women business resources to tap into women-led businesses and the billions of dollars they contribute to the economy.  As an African American woman, you will be among great company as you become part of the largest minority women’s group starting businesses.

The 2016 American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses report shares that this group has grown over 112% from 2007-2016. Not only is this number astounding, it is more than double the rate of growth in women’s business overall. With more than 1.9 million thriving firms and more than 51 billion per year at revenue, this community is a force to be reckoned with. So what are you waiting for? Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered with a list of helpful sites.  


Resources for Funding

If you know where to look, funding isn’t hard to find. SELF MADE is here to help you start the search to fund your business. Below are several groups that specialize in funding minority owned businesses or African Americans specifically. For more funding leads, please visit our “ALL WOMEN” section.

Accion

Provides small business loans and support for underrepresented small business owners, including minority women. http://us.accion.org/

Aspen Capital Fund

This fund offers not only funds, but also options on how to grow your business in all ways properly and financially stable. Specializes in minority-owned businesses.  http://aspencapitalfund.com/

Black Founders

The tech industry is in need of some diversity. Stat. Black Founders provides funding from an all-black board to entrepreneurs in the tech industry. http://blackfounders.com/

Calvert Foundation

A community development foundation that connects investors to organizations and businesses in underserved communities. They offer a number of grants for programs/business in underserved communities. http://www.calvertfoundation.org/

Kapor Capital

Focusing on African American and Latino communities that have lack of funding, this organization offers to help tech companies in the seed stage who are looking to close gaps in their local community. http://www.kaporcapital.com/

Miller Lite Tap The Future Business Plan Contest

Offers up to $200,000 in grants to the new business owner with the best pitch. Get access to business moguls and seminars throughout the six month process.

http://www.mltapthefuture.com/

Opportunity Funding Corporation

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund aims to offer resources and training to young entrepreneurs. http://ofc.thurgoodmarshallfund.net/index.php

Power Moves

Funded by the Knight Fellows, this new program offers support for entrepreneurs of color. http://www.powermovesnola.org/

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo bank is the leading lender to minority businesses according to a 2010  Community Reinvestment Act government data, and they make it a priority to lend to African-American women. http://bit.ly/1Voh80u

Minority Business Development Agency

This site is one stop shopping for training, grants, and loans for all minorities. http://www.mbda.gov/

Resources For Training

If you’re launching a business and don’t know where to begin, training is a great first step! There are several groups offering training and development programs to develop business knowledge and skills for African American women entrepreneurs. Review the programs below to begin training for your success.

Black Women Enterprises

Offers training for all aspects of your business and designed to help make businesses as profitable as possible. Most programs are free and you also gain access to an incredible network of women. http://www.blackwomenenterprises.org/  

Executive Leadership Council (ELC)

The ELC is a membership based organization with a goal of developing black leaders globally. They offer a number of training programs and events, including a Women’s Leadership Forum, to build professional and leadership skills. https://www.elcinfo.com/

Minority Business Development Agency

This site is one stop shopping for training, grants, and loans for all minorities. http://www.mbda.gov/

National Black Business Council (NBBC)

This site offers free information to help entrepreneurs take the first steps to building a business including information on registering a business, creating a business plan, securing loans and more. This is a great first stop to learn more about the process of starting a business. http://www.nbbc.org/

National Urban League (NUL)

The NUL began as a social justice organization that has grown into an economic empowerment program for the African American community. The Entrepreneurship Center program offers training, mentoring and counseling services to help entrepreneurs of color  gain management skills and build lasting, successful businesses. http://bit.ly/1WvJreD

National Urban League Young Professionals (NULYP)

This extension of the National Urban League recruits young professionals, ages 21 – 40, to volunteer in their local areas to empower, inspire and progress their communities. http://nulyp.org/

The Phat Startup

This media company produces engaging videos and hosts pitch contests and other supportive events tailored to the African-American community. http://www.thephatstartup.com/

Powerful Women

This fabulous group was created in 2013 by Meagan Ward to inspire and unite women in the African American community and beyond. Join us to gain access to creative luncheons, networking events and an amazing community of support!

http://www.thepowerfulwomen.org/

United Negro College Fund (UNCF)

Offers a number of  scholarships for African American students pursuing a college degree in a number of fields including business. The UNCF also helps students secure internships that develop valuable skills for business and professional careers. http://www.uncf.org/

U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce

Offering an actual school for entrepreneurs, the USBC also offers training. An abundant source of resources from funding to mentorship. http://usblackchamber.org/

Women in the Black

Entrepreneurial organization catering to women of color in Harlem, New York and surrounding areas. Offers training, business development, and support for current and aspiring business owners. http://www.witb.xbuild.com/

Resources for Networking

Network, network, network! It’s a word you will hear often as you begin your entrepreneurial journey and though it may get old, it will be one of the most important things for your business. Surrounding yourself with women on the same page will make you feel supported and powerful.

Association of Black Women Physicians (ABWP)

This network was founded by African American women physicians with a focus on helping the community. They offer support to African American female physicians, physicians in training and/or pre-med students through their ‘Sister-to-Sister’ mentoring program and a charity scholarship program for exceptional pre-med students with demonstrable financial need. http://www.blackwomenphysicians.org/

Black Business Association

Based in Southern California, the network helps connect African American business owners in the region. http://www.bbala.org/

Black Business Women Online

Is an online community of African American women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and gain relevant information to help them build their businesses. http://www.mybbwo.com/home/

Black Career Women’s Network

This national network aims to help the professional growth of African American women. Find mentors, peers and a family of supportive women looking to lift each other up. https://bcwnetwork.com/

Black Enterprise

A magazine that lists extensive networking opportunities online. http://www.blackenterprise.com/

Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit

Women from the African American community join together to network and discuss careers, leaderships and work-life balance. Cost $195 – $600. http://bit.ly/24HTBNE

Black Women Enterprises

This nonprofit Long-Island based program offers networking opportunities and in-depth and ongoing in person workshops. http://www.blackwomenenterprises.org/

Black Women’s Network

Based in Los Angeles, this nonprofit organization offers mentorship to urban women in career, business and professional development. http://www.blackwomensnetwork.net/

Blavity

This conference empowers and inspires black women in areas of leadership, creativity and technology. Attendees include leading bloggers, designers, startup founders and more. Cost is $220 and the conference takes place in New York City annually in late May. http://empowerher.blavity.com/

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF)

The CBCF develops black leaders through and educate and informs the public on policy to progress and empower the African American community. http://www.cbcfinc.org/

Google Demo Day

An annual one-day conference held in Silicon Valley for technology startups from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Participants are invited to exhibit their technology on Demo Day and network with investors, mentors and fellow entrepreneurs. Women and minority-owned startups encouraged to apply. http://googledemoday.com/

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

The NAACP is one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the United States. It continues to advocate on behalf of social, political, educational and economical equality for African Americans throughout the country. http://www.naacp.org/

National Association of Black Accountants

A national nonprofit dedicated to building opportunities for African American’s in accounting, financial, consulting, information technology or other related fields of business. Offers networking, development and other opportunities. http://www.nabainc.org/

National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers, Inc. (NABHOOD)

Our goal is to build wealth in the African American community by increasing the number of African American hotel owners, operators, and managers; and increasing opportunities for minority vendors and individuals interested in executive leadership. http://www.nabhood.net/

National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ)

The NABJ is a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of Black journalist throughout the world. Members are eligible to participate in scholarship programs, fellowships for professionals, networking events, and informational and training services and more. http://www.nabj.org/

National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.

A membership based organization that advocates for and empowers African American women business owners and professionals. They offer entrepreneurship, technology and leadership training programs and offer a number of personal development programs to enhance body, mind and spirit. http://www.nanbpwc.org/

National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)

This organization works to ensure opportunities and create economic wealth for African American’s in the United States through entrepreneurship, capitalistic activity. This membership based organization hosts national events that offer opportunities for networking, collaboration and more. http://www.nationalbcc.org/

National Black MBA Association

This is a membership based organization for African American MBA students advocating for education opportunities and economic growth. Offers career coaching, scholarships and an annual conference that attracts over 9,000 members in various fields of business, http://www.nbmbaa.org/

National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)

Advocates for the economic and educational empowerment of women of African descent in the United States and Africa. http://ncnw.org/

National Coalition of 100 Black Women

Surround yourself with women whose mission is to promote gender equality and leadership development in health, education and economic empowerment. http://www.ncbw.org/

National Congress of Black Women (NCBW)

A networking organizations that promotes the interest of African American women. http://nationalcongressbw.org/

National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA)

This membership based organization’s goal is to advance the positions of African Americans in the public administration and public service organizations. Offers training programs and networking events and mentoring programs for up and coming administrators. http://www.nfbpa.org/

National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)

A valuable network for African American newspaper owners in the United States. Membership is required and members gain a number of privileges, including access to training programs, NNPA fellowships, networking events, awards and much more. http://nnpa.org/

National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)

This national nonprofit encourages programs that promote the advancement of African American chemists and chemical engineers in the professional, academic  and entrepreneurial fields. Offers national chapters in a number of cities and membership options for students and professionals. http://www.nobcche.org/

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

This is a membership based nonprofit organization that is managed and operated by its members. Members gain access to training, professional development, and mentoring programs in addition to a number of other valuable resources. http://www.nsbe.org/

Odyssey Media

For the last 17 years, Odyssey has held all varieties of events (click here for full calendar) conferences, business retreats, bootcamps, philanthropic initiatives, digital forums, adventure activities, and networking opportunities, helping amass a database of thousands of women, and point them to resources. http://www.odysseymc.com/cpages/odyssey-media

Organization of Black Designers (OBD)

A network of over 10,000 professional designers in the United States, this organization creates visibility of African American designers and their contributions to the field. http://obd.org/

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management

The Consortium for Graduate Study advocates for the inclusion and advancement of African American, Native American and Hispanic Americans in business schools and executive leadership positions in corporate America. http://cgsm.org/

Women Entrepreneurs of America

Founder Yolanda Lamar-Wilder sought to create a community of women to support one another. Surround yourself with women of all industries to help expand your business. http://weainc.webs.com/