Block Advisors Offering $100K In Grants To Empower Black Women Business Owners; Here’s How To Apply

Black women entrepreneurs have a significant opportunity to secure much-needed funding through Block Advisors By H&R Block. For the first time, Block Advisors, the small business unit of H&R Block, is offering $100,000 in combined grants to support women small business owners. This grant is aimed at addressing the persistent challenge of raising capital faced by many Black women in business. 

The program, named Fund Her Future, aims to empower Black women-owned small businesses by awarding grants to five recipients. The grand prize winner will receive $50,000, while four finalists will each receive $12,500. 

Additionally, all grant recipients will have access to a year of small business services from Block Advisors. Interested entrepreneurs can apply for the grants until May 26, 2024, with a particular emphasis on women-led businesses that promote inclusivity and demonstrate community impact. 

The significance of this funding cannot be overstated. Recent data from Block Advisors’ Small Business Resilience Series survey highlight the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, particularly Black women. 

While 31% of women start their businesses within five months of considering it, they are more likely to make less money and be declined for loans compared to their counterparts. The disparities are even more pronounced for small business owners of color.

Fund Her Future seeks to bridge this funding gap. This is especially crucial as Black women founders report significantly lower annual revenue, approximately six times less than all women-owned businesses. 

According to Jamil Khan, who serves as a Chief Strategy and Small Business Officer at H&R Block, “Over the past five years, women-owned businesses have grown at nearly double the rate of men-owned businesses.”

Moreover, 61% of Black women rely on their capital to finance new businesses, highlighting the urgent need for financial support.

Industry observers are raising concerns about the sustainability of this crisis if obstacles to accessing financing persist for Black women owners. Traditional avenues such as bank loans, venture capital, and investor-backed aid often present significant barriers, exacerbating the challenges faced by Black business women.

“Despite being one of the fastest-growing segments of the small business space, women-owned small businesses continue to experience a funding and support gap compared to their male counterparts,” Khan said. “Announcing the grant program to kick off National Small Business Month will hopefully illuminate this disparity.”

Overall, Block Advisors By H&R Block’s initiative to offer $100,000 in grants represents a vital step towards empowering Black businesswomen and addressing systemic inequalities in entrepreneurship. By providing financial support and access to essential services, Fund Her Future aims to foster economic growth and create opportunities for women-owned businesses to thrive.

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