Free Grants and Loans for Minority and Women Owned Businesses in Illinois

Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Danielle McDonald

Find out how and where to apply for loans and/or free grants in the state of Illinois. The funds are for disadvantaged businesses. This includes minority owned (Black, Latino, Asian), veteran, or grants for women owned businesses. Below is a list of Illinois programs, lenders and corporations that can help you find funds. All types of assistance are available, including free grants to low-cost loans, mentoring, and other support for small businesses or start-ups.

The federal government or the state of Illinois may provide small business funding. Non-profit grant programs, bank loans or foundations, and a lot more are also available. Every loan or grant program on the list allocated funds to assist women and minority owned (or managed) companies. Additionally, some agencies might provide startup funding for entrepreneurs and mid-sized businesses.

All funds are distributed throughout the state. Financial assistance is available for minority and women owned businesses in Chicago, Joliet, Springfield, and other cities. Loans or free grants are normally used to cover any business expenses, including rent to insurance, payroll, equipment, and other costs. Furthermore, the funds can be used to save a company, like MWBE, or provide capital for growth.

Grants and Loans for Women or Minority Owned Small Businesses in the State of Illinois

The list is updated with up to the most recent assistance available. You may call or go online to apply for assistance. Black, Latinos, Asian, LGBTQ+, and women owned businesses can receive the assistance they require.

Free Financial and Business Coaching Assistance Programs Ongoing, Year Round

Allies for Community Business (Accion Chicago) 

This is a non-profit community lender in the city of Chicago. They provide loans, grants, free coaching or mentoring for entrepreneurs, financial assistance, and other services. The available assistances are focused on Black, Latino, Veteran, LGBTQ+, and women owned businesses in Chicago and Cook County. The majority of financing also come in the form of loans. Click the link above to find out more.

Aurora Women’s Business Development Center 

The center provides a variety of services and programs for women owned businesses, including women of color. Workshops, business training classes, loan and grant information, and other services are available. They also assist women to certify their business as a women-minority owned company. Click the link above to find more information about the center.

Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Microfinance Group – Greenwood Archer Capital 

The non-profit provides microloans for Black and minority owned businesses. They can offer up to $50,000 according to business income, business plans, business revenue, and other factors. CNI also offers microloans to borrowers who have poor or limited credit. Furthermore, the CNI focuses primarily on funding businesses that are owned by people of color from low-income communities in Chicago. Click the link above to learn more.

TechRise

TechRise can provide assistance for Chicago-based technology companies. This  organization mainly focuses on underserved technology businesses, internet companies, and various “cutting edge” businesses. Moreover, the organization helps minority, Hispanic, and Black owned technology businesses to access capital (including grants or loans, help with networking and community engagement, and more). The goal is also to assist MWBE businesses within the city. Click the link above to find out more.

West Suburban Women Entrepreneurs (WSWE)

The West Suburban Women Entrepreneurs (WSWE) offers assistance for Chicago women owned businesses located in the western suburbs of Cook County. This is a group of women entrepreneurs, business owners, and other people who help other female founders. They also offer many free resources, including free mentoring, information about raising capital, or applying for grants or small business loans. Click the link above to find out more.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity 

They focus mainly on minority, women, veteran, LGBTQ+, and disabled small business owners. There are many resources available throughout the year, including grants, online training courses, information about low cost loans, free one-to-one business advice, and more. They can also help with MWBE certification, and offer information databases and other aids. Click the link above to continue reading.
This is similar to the Indy Chamber of Commerce which is one of the Free Grants and Loans for Minority and Women Owned Businesses in Indiana.

Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 

The Chamber is based in Chicago, but has operations throughout the state. The programs included are: Incubator/Startup program; Business Development Center; Procurement Assistance and Certification Assistance for Latino Businesses; and Free Coaching, and more. There are also various assistance programs for Hispanic entrepreneurs or companies, like loans and grants. You may click the link above to find out more about the non-profit.

The Women’s Business Development Center 

The Development Center assists both women and people of color. They assist them in obtaining capital, grants loans, government grants, or another form of financial aid. They have locations in Chicago and Aurora. Additionally, they offer loans up to $50,000 with no application fees, business advising, minority or women owned business certifications, networking, and a lot more. You can click the link above to read more.
This is similar to the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) which is one of the Free Grants and Loans for Minority and Women Owned Businesses in Georgia.

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