Top Resources for Black-Owned Businesses in Michigan

Here’s the good news: The past few years have shown a significant spike in Black-owned employer businesses (those with more than 1 employee). According to the Brookings Institute, “from 2017 to 2020, the number of Black-owned businesses across the country increased by 13.64% — larger than all businesses in general, which increased by 0.53% over the same period.”

But here’s the bad news: It’s still not enough. Black-owned businesses account for only 2.4% of all U.S. employer businesses, according to Pew Research. That’s significantly less than the Black percentage of the U.S. population: 14.2%, according to the 2020 U.S. census. 

Why the gap? 

One of the BIG causes is a lack of equitable lending, resources and support for Black entrepreneurs. 

Michigan Women Forward is proud to be a CDFI lender with a mission to improve equity in small business lending. We know that access to capital is essential to support the goal of owning a business for BIPOC entrepreneurs. And we also know that other support and business resources are essential as well. Here is a list of national and statewide organizations besides Michigan Women Forward that Black business owners in Michigan should know about: 

Black Girl Ventures

Black Girl Ventures supports Black and Brown woman-identifying entrepreneurs in their dream of business ownership. They offer pitch contests, fellowships, events and more.

Black Connect

Black Connect is a national nonprofit business and entrepreneur center that is dedicated to eliminating the racial wealth gap facing Black Americans. It provides workshops, business mentoring, business funding, strategy and financial planning guidance and more. 

Black Founders

Black Founders works to support Black entrepreneurs in the tech industry. They host networking events, conferences and a hackathon. 

Black Leaders Detroit

Black Leaders Detroit is a movement focused on reducing the inequity in business ownership in Detroit by increasing financial support. It has fundraising programs and events like the 1 million initiative to get $1 weekly donations from 1 million people to offer small business funding to Black businesses. Businesses can apply online for a no interest loan. 

The Coalition to Back Black Businesses

The Coalition to Back Black Businesses — a collaboration between American Express, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Business League, U.S. Black Chambers, and Walker’s Legacy — provides grants to Black-owned business owners or entrepreneurs. 

Elevate Together

Elevate Together, a partnership with the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Centers and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, supports Black and Hispanic small businesses with five or less employees with mentorships, grants and an online university of entrepreneur education. 

Fast Break for Small Business

In partnership with the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League, LegalZoom has launched the Fast Break for Small Business grant to improve equitable access to funding and legal services for Black-owned small businesses. 

Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses 

Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses (GRABB) is an organization focused on supporting Black business owners in the Grand Rapids area. Its goal is to revitalize neighborhoods and increase economic equity by creating wealth through entrepreneurship. The organization offers networking events, pitch competitions, business education programs and more. 

JPMorgan Chase Advancing Black Pathways

The Advancing Black Pathways initiative from JPMorgan Chase offers capital, technical support and pathways for Black businesses. 

Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance

Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance is an organization dedicated to helping Black businesses survive and thrive. It offers wealth workshops, leads for capital, youth entrepreneurship programs and more. 

The Minority Business Development Agency

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, helps Black-owned businesses by providing tips on getting funding, competing for contracts, and making products export-ready. There is a MBDA business center located in Detroit

SCORE

SCORE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting small businesses through mentorship and education. Black entrepreneurs can benefit from SCORE’s articles and resources on Black entrepreneurship.

U.S. Black Chambers

The U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) is the umbrella organization that supports local African American chambers of commerce and business organizations in the United States. Together, they promote and advocate for Black-owned businesses, offer a national directory of Black-owned businesses and offer webinars and informational podcasts.

Add Michigan Women Forward to the list of organizations that are working to support Black business owners and entrepreneurs. We are a CDFI, equal opportunity lender that provides loans to Michigan entrepreneurs and small businesses. Get information on applying for a small business loan to help seed or scale your business.