Small Business Grants For LBGT

Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Lori Pace

Are you an LGBT entrepreneur seeking financial support to grow your small business? Small business grants for LGBT individuals are available from various organizations and foundations that aim to promote diversity and inclusion in the business world. Applying for grants can be a competitive process, but with some research and preparation, you can increase your chances of receiving funding.

Small business grants can provide a valuable funding source for LGBT entrepreneurs who may face additional barriers in accessing capital due to discrimination or bias. These grants can cover expenses such as equipment, marketing, hiring staff, or expanding your business.

In this article, we will explore some of the top small business grants available for LGBT individuals and provide tips on securing funding for your business. 

David Bohnett Foundation

The David Bohnett Foundation offers small business grants specifically for LGBTQ entrepreneurs. This nonprofit organization aims to improve society through activism and promoting underrepresented communities, including LGBTQ.

Grant opportunities from the David Bohnett Foundation can provide economic opportunities and funding opportunities for LGBTQ entrepreneurs who may not have access to traditional venture capital funds. With the support of this foundation, LGBTQ entrepreneurs can have the resources they need to start, grow, and succeed in their businesses. 

Coca-Cola Foundation

The Coca-Cola Foundation has made significant strides in supporting diverse communities through its philanthropic efforts. As a corporate partner, they’ve been actively supporting sustainability by empowering local and underprivileged communities, including the LGBTQ. 

The foundation recognizes the importance of providing financial support to small businesses in the LGBTQ community and has been offering business loans and funding through their grant applications. This support has provided the necessary capital for these businesses to grow and thrive. 

American Association of University Women Career Development Grant

This grant is available for women who hold a bachelor’s degree and want to further their education or advance their careers. The grant provides funding for tuition fees, books, and other educational expenses. In addition to the financial support, recipients of this grant also gain access to a network of professional women who can provide mentorship and guidance.

This grant is not limited to women, as the American Association of University Women also offers grants and scholarships to business owners, people of color, and LGBTQIA-owned businesses.

Eileen Fisher’s Community Partnership Grant

This grant provides funding for community partnerships with grassroots nonprofit organizations and businesses. Eileen Fisher is committed to promoting gender expression and gender identity in business grants, and it provides resources for private investors and venture capital firms to support organizations focused on these issues.

Open Meadows Foundation

The foundation provides grants of up to $2,000 to support projects that are designed and implemented by women, trans, and nonbinary people who are working towards gender, racial, and economic justice.

Open Meadows Foundation is particularly interested in supporting projects that work towards creating gender and racial justice and that prioritize the leadership of underrepresented individuals.  

Women’s Business Centers

The Women’s Business Centers provide resources and support specifically for women and nonbinary femme entrepreneurs. Additionally, the center offers workshops, mentorship programs, and connections to angel investors, all of which can greatly benefit your small business.  

Arcus Foundation

The Arcus Foundation promotes social justice and supports entrepreneurship among LGBT business owners. They provide small business grants, business coaching, and networking events to help LGBT entrepreneurs succeed in the business community. 

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (US)

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (US) offers small business grants for LGBT entrepreneurs and works to promote LGBT diversity in the business world.

The foundation also supports environmental justice and social equality, making it a great partner for socially conscious businesses. With their help, you can take your business to the next level and make a difference in your community. 

Ford Foundation (US)

The Ford Foundation recognizes the unique challenges faced by LGBT business founders and has been working to provide funding opportunities through small business grants and business capital. The organization offers various grants ranging from $3,000 up to $200,000. 

Small Business Administration (SBA) LGBTQ+ Outreach

This active organization is dedicated to providing access to opportunities for marginalized communities, including LGBT members. It aims to empower small business owners by equipping them with the right knowledge to make sound business decisions through various scholarship opportunities, business expansion resources, financial grants, and networks. 


StartOut offers a range of resources and networking opportunities to help you grow your business. This non-profit organization promotes LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship through mentorship, education, and funding opportunities.   

Diversity Fund

The Diversity Fund focuses on providing capital to women and minority-led businesses to fund and grow their businesses.  This not only benefits the LGBTQ community but also promotes diversity and inclusivity in the business world, making it a crucial investment for anyone who wants to support a more equitable and fair society. 

Backstage Capital

Backstage Capital, founded by Arlan Hamilton, is a major player in the world of venture capital funds that focus on investing in underrepresented founders, including women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community.

As LGBTQ business builders, they offer mentorship for business owners, which can be incredibly valuable. It’s great to see a fund that not only recognizes the value of diversity but actively seeks to support those who are often overlooked in the business world, particularly members of the transgender community. 

Diversity VC

This organization supports diversity and inclusion in the venture capital industry. They offer various resources and support services, including scholarship opportunities, certification, networking events, and mentorship programs. 

LGBT Capital

LGBT Capital focuses on impact investing to support the growth of LGBT businesses. They help businesses in diverse categories within entrepreneurship and social enterprise.

By joining their premium membership program, businesses can access additional venture capital funding and national recognition. Plus, their knowledge and experience can help increase bank loan approval rates. 

Transform Business Grant

The Transform Business Grant is a program designed to empower entrepreneurs from underrepresented and oppressed groups to help them grow their businesses. The organization supports this by offering year-long assistance in business strategy building and development programs. 

Helpful Tips to Secure LGBT Small Business Grants

Discover practical tips on securing funding for your LGBTQ-owned venture and take your business to the next level.

  1. Stay informed – Keep up-to-date on business news and requests for proposals that fit your business type.
  2. Attend training –  Attend business training and seek out scholarship opportunities for LGBTQ and transgender entrepreneurs.
  3. Highlight inclusion – Emphasize how your business supports and promotes LGBTQ rights and inclusion.
  4. Seek out non-LGBTQ grants – Don’t be afraid to apply for non-LGBTQ grants. Many organizations are looking to support diverse and inclusive businesses.
  5. Develop a strong business strategy – Focus on developing a strong business strategy to demonstrate your potential for success.  

Alternative Resources for LGBT Small Businesses

In addition to small business grants, there are many scholarship opportunities available for LGBTQ entrepreneurs. These can be particularly helpful for those in the transgender community who may face additional barriers to funding.

Additionally, don’t overlook non-LGBTQ-specific resources, such as business news and training, which can offer valuable insights into the broader business scene.

Consider attending networking events or seeking out mentors to help refine your business strategy and tactics. And remember, your LGBTQ identity is a valuable part of your business voice, so don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage when making business requests or seeking out partnerships. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility criteria for applying for LGBT small business grants?

To apply for LGBT small business grants, you need to meet specific eligibility criteria, such as being a member of the LGBT community, owning a small business, and demonstrating financial need. Check with grant providers for specific requirements.

How long does it typically take to receive a decision on a grant application?

Typically, it takes several weeks to a few months to receive a decision on a grant application. However, this can vary depending on the specific grant and the application volume. Stay patient and hopeful!

Can non-profit organizations apply for LGBT small business grants?

Yes, non-profit organizations can apply for small business grants for LGBT. Make sure to check the specific eligibility requirements of the grant program you are applying for and provide all necessary documentation.

Are there any geographic restrictions on the grants?

There may be geographic restrictions on small business grants for LGBT individuals, depending on the specific grant program. Check the eligibility requirements for each program to determine if there are any restrictions based on location.

What is the maximum grant amount available for LGBT small businesses?

The maximum grant amount available for LGBT small businesses varies depending on the specific grant program and its eligibility criteria. You can research and apply for grants that meet your business needs and goals. 


As a member of the LGBTQ community, you understand the difficulties and discrimination that LGBTQ entrepreneurs face when trying to secure funding.

However, with the help of grants, venture capital investments, and small business loans, you can make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality.

Remember to do your research and apply to as many grants and funding opportunities as possible. Utilize resources like The David Bohnett Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, and LGBT Capital, as well as alternative resources like small business loans and venture capital investments.

By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can overcome the barriers that LGBTQ-owned businesses face and make a positive impact in your community.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!