Funding for Women and Minorities

The state of New York offers a multitude of programs specifically for women and minority business owners. Here are a few of the resources you’ll find on this page.

New York Business Development Corp.
NYBDC is committed to providing women and minorities access to business financing. Through its outreach programs, they participate regularly in business seminars and conferences for minority- and women-owned businesses. Staff members proactively reach out to women organizations and minority communities. If you are a minority- or women-owned business and are seeking a loan, they want to talk to you. You can obtain financing, even if you had credit issues in the past, as long as they are not a continuing issue. They claim to not use credit scoring to determine whether you are eligible for a loan. They take qualification on a case-by-case basis.

Community Development Financial Institution Assistance Program
CDFI provides micro-loans to businesses that often do not qualify for bank loans, as well as one-on-one counseling and business development assistance to facilitate credit-readiness. Every year these CDFIs help thousands of minority and women-owned business enterprises survive and flourish in New York State. Since 1997 ESD has awarded $10,366,193 in grants to federally-certified Community Development Financial Institutions to assist in their efforts to develop minority and women-owned business enterprises. The site includes a list of participating lenders, along with their complete contact information.

8(a) and Minority & Women Business Enterprise Certification
Small businesses with 8(a) or Minority Women Business certification can take advantage of opportunities that level the playing field within the private and public sector. With certification, minority and women-owned firms capable of producing quality products and services at competitive prices have a more competitive position. Neither 8(a) nor MWBE certification is a guarantee for business, but if used as a marketing tool, can generate more opportunities to bid for business.

Once certified, a company is officially recognized by all State agencies and most authorities as a bona fide minority- or women-owned business enterprise. Certified companies are listed in the “Directory of Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises” which is used by State agencies public authorities, federal government, and major corporations. Read more about the benefits of the MWBE certification.

This program isn’t restricted to New York small businesses. Contact the local SBA district office in your area . An SBA representative will answer general questions over the telephone. Some district offices may also have 8(a) orientation workshops to provide additional information regarding the eligibility requirements and various SBA forms.

10 Places That Lend Money to Women in Business author Lahle Wolfe lists ten places that having lending programs for women in business and that make mircoloans to women business owners, minorities, and small businesses.

Womens Business Centers
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) exists to establish and oversee a network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) throughout the United States and its territories.  Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCs, entrepreneurs — especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged — are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses.


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