As the founder of the Adelante Movement and the former president of entertainment for Telemundo, Cuban-American Nely Galán, has traveled the country many times coaching Latinas through their entrepreneurial goals and challenges, and helping us kick-start our dreams. Her mantra? Choose Yourself.
Over the past year and a half, she’s compiled her wisdom into a new book, a website and an app that launches this week. SELF MADE: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way is dedicated to helping all women, and especially multicultural women, build tools and find resources to start their own businesses. Latinas start new businesses at six times the national rate, and more and more organizations are ready to invest millions of dollars in helping new Latina businesses get started.
Here are seven of Galán’s best tips for finding hidden money:
1) Government Grants
Government agencies offer funding to help women start up their new businesses, often without having to be paid back. To apply for a government grant, it’s best to start at the state level. Look under the business section of your state’s website to research “development grant funds” and “state incentives.” So few people know about these resources, that some agencies report that over 80 percent go untapped!
2) Corporate Grants and Pitch Competitions
Major corporations want to invest in your community. Sam’s Club just announced they will donate over $8 million in grants specifically geared toward veterans and women of color! Businesses usually award their grants through pitch competitions and third party organizations. Find out more about how to tap these resources and find funds targeted to your community at becomingselfmade.com.
3) Corporate Alliances
Corporations can also prove to be great partners in distributing and promoting your business. Businesses cover many of their needs by hiring outside suppliers. For example, companies like Coca Cola and Walmart have specific supplier diversity programs in place to pursue woman and minority-owned businesses. Search for supplier diversity programs online to find out how you could get your product connected to massive distribution, and even more cash!
4) Non-Profit Grants and Tax Write Offs
When you have a small business, it makes sense to partner with a like-minded non-profit as soon as possible. Some, like the Tory Burch Foundation, dole out six-figure grants and host regular pitch competitions! Nonprofits are also a great way to market your company. If you advertise or partner with an organization, you won’t just get great exposure and support— you can also claim a tax write-off that will ease your burden.
By now, you’ve probably heard a few stories about people who used KickStarter or Indiegogo to get funds for their business. What you may not know is that as of May 16, a new phase of 2012 Jobs Act has kicked in and added another perk: now small businesses can offer investors a stake in your company in exchange for their investment as an incentive.
6) Training Scholarships
Organizations like Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBENC) offer thousands of dollars in entrepreneurship and corporate training to help you learn the skills you need to launch or take your business to the next level. Find more training opportunities like this at becomingselfmade.com.
7) Small Business Administration Loans
It’s notoriously difficult for women of color to obtain small business loans from their banks. Fortunately, the Small Business Administration helps close the gap by offering low-interest loans and comprehensive resources.
For more empowering tips check out SELF MADE: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way.