Small Business ShowsThe Small Business ShowVenture capitalist Melissa Bradley's techniques on securing grants for minority-owned businesses

Venture capitalist Melissa Bradley’s techniques on securing grants for minority-owned businesses

Ever wonder how nonprofits play a role in business success? On today’s episode of The Small Business Show, we’re joined by Melissa Bradley, Serial Entrepreneur and Keynote Speaker. Melissa is a Founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures, a nonprofit and for-profit organization that helps Black and Latino owners grow their businesses.  

1863 Ventures is a Black-led national business development nonprofit accelerator and venture capital fund for New Majority Founder- historically underserved individuals, such as Black and Latino men and women. The District of Columbia-based nonprofit assists over 3,200 entrepreneurs nationwide by utilizing capital investments, proprietary curricula, grant money, and corporate and philanthropic relationships to scale enterprises from high potential to high growth.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The 1863 organization, founded before Geroge Floyd and COVID, is now in its eighth year of operation. It was created to help committed minority black and brown entrepreneurs launch and expand their businesses. The company is well aware of entrepreneurship’s significant role in creating wealth and assets in these communities. 

2. There are several grant programs available, but they are slightly competitive. Therefore, Bradley identifies the three ways her company encourages others to navigate through it:

    1. Determine if the grant aligns with your business
    2. Understand a grant should act as a catalyst for your business.
    3. Determine if the grant is worth your time because time is the one asset you cannot get back. 

3. Bradley outlines the key factors minority-owned businesses can secure a grant:  

  • Any business showing a tangible product being delivered is an easy measurement for grant organizations to lend your company the necessary funds. 
  • It’s not recommended but highly preferred that your business has traction; your customers can easily recognize your brand. 
  • Have clarity in knowing what success is. 

4. It’s imperative to remember that investing in underrepresented communities has a direct opportunity and a direct opportunity cost. 

5. The main objective of 1863 is to create over $1 billion in wealth by and for minority entrepreneurs by 2030.

“I became committed to helping others who look like me navigate the quagmire of the startup ecosystem.” – Melissa Bradley

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for ASBN. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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