Are there specialized financial resources for business startups owned by a minority?

By Tim Berry

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We already have a business that is generating 30K per month (12K after paying independent contractors). We are an agency that provides services to families and children with disabilities. We are looking to launch a website and need startup financing. Not sure what type of financing is best or how much to apply for.
Yes, you may qualify for some financial help, but be very careful about this. There are a lot more vendors of services to help you find and apply for grants than there are grants.

Start your search with the official agencies.  You know them better than I do because you're already working with them. Talk to the people involved with providing financing for  families and children with disabilities. Do they know of any grants, any special funding? Then talk to whoever else helps these people with special needs, whether it's school district or county government or whatever.

Always, as you make these calls, brace yourself for the person you're talking to not to know, not to have a good answer. As soon as it comes to that, always ask that person who else might know. Never end a phone call without asking who else might know.

You should also do an internet search starting with, the main Small Business Administration website. There are some special facilities for minority owners, but you have to go through the details. And, for the record, SBA loans are managed by local banks.

What I want to recommend most is that you be very skeptical of people charging you money to help you get your grant. Some of these people are for real--many aren't. If you do work with somebody like that--and I don't blame you for wanting that--make sure you first check with references, especially past clients.

Good luck with it,
Tim Berry

Entrepreneur, Business Planner and Angel Investor

Tim Berry is the chairman of Eugene, Ore.-Palo Alto Software, which produces business-planning software. He founded and wrote The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press. Berry is also a co-founder of, a leader in a local angel-investment group and a judge of international business-plan competitions.

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