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New Funding Sources for Minority-Owned Firms

Digital Library > Building and Inspiring an Organization > Minority-owned firms “New Funding Sources for Minority-Owned Firms”

One of the first hurdles that minority-owned firms face is financing. In a 1999 Federal Reserve study, 68.5% of small businesses owned by black men were denied loans in the past three years.

The vast majority of small-business owners (regardless of race) said poor credit history was to blame.

Some government programs exist on a federal, state and local level to lend money to minority-owned firms. A growing number of nonprofit "community-development corporations" also provide funding through a revolving loan pool.

Another layer of support is emerging from the private sector: community-development agencies. These for-profit corporations attract equity from banks that they, in turn, loan to promising entrepreneurs.

Rhode Island’s Minority Investment Development Corp. is a typical example. The 6-year-old firm’s average loan is $65,000, and the Providence-based corporation has not rejected any applicant for lack of funds.

Writer: Morey Stettner

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