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

Last Updated on August 23, 2023 by Hannah Stevens

Entrepreneurs and small- to mid-sized business owners in Minnesota can receive financial assistance through loans and free grant programs. Funds are available for disadvantaged businesses. These include Black owned companies, veterans, LGBTQ, women, and Latino owned businesses. Below, you can find out where and how to apply for a loan or grant in Minnesota.

Funds can be obtained from the government, non-profits, corporate, foundations, or the SBA, among others. Besides funding for businesses, most programs offer various support for business owners or entrepreneurs. They may provide assistance with marketing, website development, free counseling or mentoring services. Its purpose is to assist small businesses to grow or to provide capital for owners who do not have access to traditional sources of funding, such as banks.

Anybody can apply for financial assistance. However, there are grants and loans available for women or minority businesses in Minnesota. Small businesses and startups can receive assistance in cities like Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, and throughout Minnesota. Several of these financial aid programs are focused on MWBE, Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) owned businesses.

Minnesota Small Business Loans and Free Grants for Women or Minorities

You may find loans for existing or new businesses, grants to start or grow a business, and other assistance for small to mid-sized businesses. Every resident of Minnesota can apply. However, some funds or resources will always be available for minorities (including Black, Asian, Latino, LGBTQ+), as well as women and veterans.

Year Round Resources

The Entrepreneur Fund 

They have several locations in Minnesota, including Duluth, Eveleth, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, and Little Falls. The Entrepreneur Fund works in conjunction with entrepreneurs to help them launch or grow a small business. However, they are particularly focused on MWBE and disadvantaged businesses. They also provide assistance with business planning, website development, mentorship, loan programs, networking events, and more.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

They assist non-profits, if those nonprofits help disadvantaged businesses, throughout the state. This is done through loan programs and other support. They provide low-cost loans or zero percent loans. Furthermore, DEED may offer financial assistance to a non-profit with a goal of supporting Black, women, veterans, immigrants, or minority businesses.

Minneapolis-St. Paul WomenVenture 

They offer a variety of services for female owned small businesses. From time to time, interest-free microloans will be available. However, these will only be a small dollar amount. This non-profit also provides support for business plan development, consultations, training, networking, classes, and other services. For more established businesses, there may also be low-cost, larger dollar loans.

Northland Foundation Small Business Development Center 

The foundation assists the entire northeastern Minnesota. All their assistance programs and services are free. Counselors are available to help individuals find free grants or low-cost loans that they can apply for. This includes funds for veterans and MWBE businesses. Moreover, they provide guidance, legal tips, such as whether a LLC or sole-proprietorship, assistance with developing business plans and proformas, and more.

Red Letter Grant of Minnesota

This is a small non-profit agency, which offers support and grants for women owned businesses and entrepreneurs. There are a limited number of grants available, and referrals to other financial resources. Moreover, women leaders in the state of Minnesota mentor business owners, offer free coaching and guidance, and other support.

St. Paul Minnesota Latino Economic Development Center 

The St. Paul Minnesota Latino Economic Development Center offers several assistance programs for Latinos in the Twin Cities, as well as entrepreneurs and business owners. Residents can apply for emergency financial assistance to pay their bills. The center also assists Latino business owners, farmers, small business owners, and others. Find out how to apply for loans, grants, CDFI lender programs, and more. They can also refer Latinos to local business resources.

This programme is similar to one of the free grants and loans for minority and women owned businesses in Michigan, the El Concilio.

St. Paul Center for Economic Inclusion 

The St. Paul Center for Economic Inclusion works to support women owned businesses, both Black and Latina. This non-profit partners with other agencies on the resources provided, such as Fearless Commerce, Activate Network, and NEOO Partners Inc. There are also several other assistance programs available.


The WomenVentures is a non-profit that provides free training, support, and loans for women owned businesses located in Twin Cities. They also assist businesses grow, or Scale Up. Furthermore, they provide a tool kit of resources for female business owners, including access to legal support, financial projections, and more.

This programme is similar to one of the free grants and loans for minority and women owned businesses in Mississippi, the Women Business Center (WBCM).