Starting self-owned businesses has slowly but surely been on the ride all over the United States. The trend has possibly been triggered by the economic slowdown that led to a loss of jobs and rampant unemployment all across the country. A lot of people, especially those from minority communities, both first-generation and otherwise, seem to be more inclined to start their businesses rather than working for a company. Starting your own business is a growing and very positive trend since it means that new business owners are effectively creating more jobs and helping alleviate unemployment in their small way.
How is the United States government helping minority-owned businesses?
The government is doing whatever it can to encourage minority groups to grow their businesses. Many benefits and services have been made available to members of minority groups who run their businesses.
SBA’s helping hand
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has an 8(a) program targeted especially at business owners from ethnic minorities. To be eligible for this program, owners have to be part of an economically disadvantaged community (the list of cities that qualify for the program is provided on the SBA website). If owners do not belong to one of the listed districts, they must prove that they are economically disadvantaged and have been discriminated against, since the program is intended for such individuals.
The program includes mentoring and certification programs for disadvantaged minority groups to help them improve their entrepreneurial skills.
Special programs for minority women entrepreneurs
The SBA has special programs for women from disadvantaged minority groups who own and run businesses in the United States or wish to establish a new business but need some help to get started. Particular funds are given to such women to help them set up a business. There are also dedicated business centers that cater to such women until they can lease or buy their own office space. These business centers help such women start their businesses with a small capital and help them network with other like-minded women entrepreneurs. There are also many women entrepreneurship groups that help such small businesses get a foothold and grow.
For more detailed information regarding various programs for minority-owned businesses and the eligibility to benefit from them, you can visit the SBA website.
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