Are you a minority entrepreneur looking to start your first business or elevate your existing one?
You are in the right place.
In this article, I am going to discuss five huge advantages that minorities enjoy as entrepreneurs (and links to resources that can help you implement them). I’ll also include a bonus advantage at the end that I think is perhaps the most important one of all.
Now starting a business can be tough for anyone, but if you are a minority, you may face additional hurdles in the form of language barriers, a lack of familiarity with US laws and customs, and basically no network to speak of.
But there are some tremendous advantages as well that nobody seems to be talking about.
That’s a shame and should absolutely be remedied. On that note, let’s explore what’s out there so you can use it to grow your business and achieve massive financial success.
If you would like to see a condensed version of this article in video format, check out my YouTube video on the topic below.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and complete a transaction, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
Number 1: Preferred Access to Government Contracts
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages that minority business owners have is the ability to obtain government contracts due to their minority status.
Each year, the Federal Government awards about 10% of all federal contract dollars, or roughly $50 billion in contracts, to Small Disadvantaged Businesses. If you are a qualified minority-owned business, which includes Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans, you can apply for this program through the SBA.
Here is the link to the SBA page on this program, which allows you to register.
Number 2: Supplier Diversity Program
There has been a huge boom in supplier diversity programs across the US.
Many of the largest corporations and financial institutions in the country have implemented programs designed to promote and use suppliers who are minority owned. As a minority business owner, you have a distinct advantage in winning supplier contracts with these companies because of your minority owned status.
Now many of these companies will want some type of proof that you are in fact minority owned, so you may want to explore one of the various minority owned business certifications out there. Word of caution – the diligence process is usually pretty intense. There’s a lot of money at stake, so people take this seriously.
The National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC) seems to be a leader in third party certifications for this purpose, so you can check them out here.
Number 3. Minority Small Business Grants
There are a host of business grants available to minority owned businesses, ranging from federal programs to state and local programs. While many may not apply to your particular situation, it is still worth exploring. I have included a link to a comprehensive article on these types of grants here.
Number 4: Access to Minority Supporting Corporate Programs
Minorities, especially Black and Hispanic minorities, have access to corporate programs designed to help them succeed as entrepreneurs.
One notable example is Amazon. They have a black business accelerator program, which offers black entrepreneurs who sell their products on Amazon a host of benefits, including financial assistance, business education and coaching, as well as marketing and advertising support.
So do a little research and see what programs are out there for you.
If you want to learn more about Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator program, check out the link here.
Number 5: Minority Funding Options
Funding can be a challenge for any business owner, but if you are a minority, you may have additional hurdles to overcome, especially if you don’t have stellar credit or tons of financial resources.
But the good news is that there are lending programs designed especially for you. A leader in this space is Union Bank. They have a Business Diversity Lending Program, which offers the same benefits as their normal business lending program, but with more relaxed credit standards.
A link to this program is provided here.
Bonus Advantage. Identifying Unique Business Opportunities
This last advantage is one of my favorites.
Sure special programs are nice, but I think one of the most powerful advantages that we minorities (and yes, I am one too) have is a culture and set of shared experiences that we can call their own. As a minority business owner, you can take that and use it to identify unique business opportunities that others may not see.
One example of such an opportunity is opening an ethnic restaurant. Minority business owners who come from a particular ethnic background may have a deep understanding of the cuisine and cultural traditions associated with that cuisine. They may be able to create a restaurant that offers an authentic experience that cannot be found elsewhere in the community.
This is of course, just one small example.
Take stock of what you know about your minority culture. Identify pain points and areas of frustration that others in your minority cohort may be experiencing. Or find what is really working in your minority group that has not been widely adopted elsewhere. Both of these are amazing business opportunities in disguise.
So there you have it – 5 unique advantages that are available only to minority entrepreneurs and links to some great resources that can help you take advantage of them.