After weeks of seeing the largest corporations commit to substantial and numerous funds for black communities, businesses and organizations, we asked Paige to do some research and learn more about these funds, the application process and ways to learn more.
She compiled a list of 34 organizations where black and minority business owners and entrepreneurs can apply to receive funding and other types of support. The list spans organizations from Grameen America, which provides business support and funding to underrepresented female business owners, to Upwork, which grants pro-bono professional services to businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Tracking the corporate pledges has proven to create a web of associations, with one fund leading to another. Google, for instance, pledged to contribute $175 million in grants to four main sources supporting the black community. One of these was the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), which provides financial support for business owners. The OFN then pledged to distribute the Google funds to seven CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions) that specifically serve minority and women business owners. The money was then tracked to these CDFIs: Citizens Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, Grameen America, MoFi, Opportunity Fund, PeopleFund, Pacific Community Ventures, and Washington Area Community Investment Fund.
These seven CDFIs are what people can actually apply to in order to receive business loans and funding.
While Google’s $175 million pledge to black causes may take potential recipients down a long and winding road to applications, at least there is a road.
“I fear many of these organizations are anxious to win the war of words, and stand tall today without long term infrastructure to execute on what seems to be an incredible amount of funds,” said Ben Friedle, owner of Outlier.
“When you see $635 million just from Google, Apple, Youtube, Nike, Adidas and the Jordan brand you feel like this is an amazing moment, yet when you go to find more information it is all ‘TBD.’ They released a reactionary headline which is concerning because as anyone in the business community who has worked with these organizations can tell you, just getting listed as a vendor for these large firms can require persistence, patience and tenacity.”
We are extremely excited to see the amount of funding being allocated to these causes. Yet, the amount of endurance needed to find the funding and navigate the requirements (just to apply for it) would be exhausting.
It is important to note that not all of the corporate pledges are going toward minority business owners. Some of the pledges, like a portion of those from Facebook and Amazon, are dedicated to civil rights and criminal justice reform organizations. Therefore, these funds will not be accessible to business owners.
We hope that this list will prove useful, and take out at least a small portion of the effort required to find and apply for support, loans, and grants. We will update it as ‘TBD’ becomes clear.
If you know of any other organizations that are providing support and funding for black owned businesses, please let us know so we can continue to make this a helpful resource.
Download the list
Access the list of support available to business owners below