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

Last Updated on August 23, 2023 by Hannah Stevens

Massachusetts offers free coaching and financial assistance to minorities, veterans, immigrants, LGBTQ, and female owned small businesses. Below you will find information about how and where you can apply for financial assistance (grants or loans), as well as how to apply. You can get funds from corporations, charities, non-profits, the federal government, and the state of Massachusetts.

Every small business, startup, sole-proprietor, or entrepreneur can apply. However, each lender and their programs will allocate some funds for disadvantaged companies. This includes Black owned companies in Massachusetts, or a Latino company. Also, grants are available for veterans, LGBTQ+, and other minority (or disadvantaged) businesses.

Funds can often be combined with additional assistance. Several small business grants programs or lenders in Massachusetts offer free business advice, including coaching, marketing assistance, counseling, website development, and more.

Loans or Free Grants for Women or Minority Owned Small Businesses in Massachusetts

Below is a list of resources that includes assistance programs for MWBE and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) owned businesses. Most grants and loans for minority businesses or grants for women owned businesses are available for businesses in major cities like Boston, Cambridge, and Springfield. However, there is also assistance available statewide.

Year Round Resources for Financial Help, Free Grants, and Loans In Massachusetts

Boston Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative 

The Boston Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative assists small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups with a special focus on women and people of color owned companies. The programs include microloans from Kiva, Bootcamps, free business advisory services, help with developing or enhancing business plans, and more.

This programme is similar to one of the free grants and loans for minority and women owned businesses in Maryland, the Inclusive Ventures Program.

Nibble Entrepreneurship Program (NEP)

The Nibble Entrepreneurship Program (NEP) assists immigrants in Sommerville who are interested in opening a restaurant or other food-related business. This program is free, and allows immigrant entrepreneurs with lower incomes to “test” their restaurant concepts. They also offer free mentoring, networking services, and information about applying for grants and low-cost loans. Moreover, there are cooking and tasting classes, and more.
This programme is similar to one of the free grants and loans for minority and women owned businesses in Michigan, the People’s Food Co-Op.

The Massachusetts Community Development Finance Corporation 

This finance corporation provides funding for small businesses throughout the state. They collaborate with credit unions, banks, and other lenders to assist small businesses and start-ups in obtaining the capital they require. The office focuses on assisting veteran, women, and minorities owned businesses. However, any small to mid-sized companies can also contact them for support. Furthermore, they assist with micro-lending.

Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts

This is a non-profit organization that supports women owned businesses. It is based in Springfield, but it covers all of western Massachusetts (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties). There are several programs available. They operate a Leadership Development Program, which is peer-to-peer counseling and mentoring. Furthermore, the donations to the Women’s Fund can be used to fund some free grant programs. They also provide emergency grants, Women’s Initiative, and other resources.