$2,500 Small Business Grant to Help Entrepreneurs from Underrepresented Communities to Grow their Small Businesses

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Special thank you goes out to Rich McIver, Founder of Merchant Negotiations, for reaching out to The PBS Blog in regard to this tremendous opportunity for small business owners!

MerchantNegotiators.com announces a $2,500 Small Business Grant, to provide entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented groups with the seed capital they need to start or grow their small business. The contest is open to any current small business owner or entrepreneur who meets one of the following eligibility requirements:

• U.S. military veterans or active military
• Minority Owned Businesses
• Women Owned Businesses
• Persons with a diagnosed disability as defined by the ADA

If you fit the following criteria, you have the opportunity to apply for a grant and finally make your aspirations of becoming a business owner a reality. But get ready! This small window will not be open for long. Applications, available at MerchantNegotiators.com’s website, are open June 1 through August 1.

Below is an excerpt from the Press Release as obtained from the website:

Why Supporting Minority Entrepreneurs Is So Important

IMG_4381Entrepreneurs and their small businesses are the engines of the American economy. Half of all private-sector workers and 70% of all new jobs are generated by small businesses, and small businesses are responsible for more than 50% of US GDP or over $6 trillion dollars annually.

Today, minority owned businesses make up almost 15 percent of the 28 million small businesses and employ 5.9 million workers in the United States and are one of the fastest growing subsets of small businesses. Despite this growth, however, Hispanic and African-American owned companies still comprise just 15% of American small businesses, a massive under-representation considering they make up 37% of the US total population.

This under-representation is due in part to the fact that the banking, grant, angel funding and private equity communities consistently underfund and inadequately support minority’s entrepreneurial ventures.

“There’s clear statistical evidence that minority entrepreneurs have been disproportionately denied capital when they apply for it,” said Rich McIver. Because more than 80% of small businesses use some sort of financing to launch their business, the fact that minorities have a harder time accessing start-up capital means fewer minority-owned businesses are started.

Raising Awareness of Systemic Underfunding of Minority Entrepreneurs

on-the-web-training-for-minority-owned-small-businessesThe MerchantNegotiators’ Small Business Grant is a small but tangible step that the company is taking to help rectify this disparity, and raise awareness of the problem of the systemic underfunding of minority entrepreneurial ventures. Beyond providing seed capital to three entrepreneurs, the company views this as an opportunity to raise awareness about the abundance of minority owned businesses that are currently being underfunded.

According to Rich McIver, founder of MerchantNegotiators, “Given that minority entrepreneurs have a harder time accessing start-up capital, there are a lot more great business ideas in that community that are going untapped, that investors and bankers would be wise to consider more closely. We view this grant as not only a way to help a few of those ideas to materialize into small businesses through our seed funding, but also to encourage awareness, discussion, and change in the larger social causes underpinning this funding discrepancy.”

While $1,500, the winner’s grant amount, may not seem like enough for a person to launch a small business, it is in fact sufficient to cover the actual out of pocket cost outlay for most small business launches. Because more than 80% of small businesses use some sort of outside financing to launch their business, the funding hurdle for many minority entrepreneurs is whether they can come up with the 1% origination fee and related costs necessary to secure a small business loan.

Eligibility Requirements:

This grant is limited to individuals who own a small business (defined as having fewer than 50 employees) or want to start a business AND identify as members of one the following historically underrepresented groups in the small business community: Minorities, women, U.S. military veterans or active military, or persons with a diagnosed disability as defined by the ADA.

Submission Requirements:

Applications must be submitted electronically at MerchantNegotiators.com by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on August 1, 2015. Applicants must review and adhere to the full application rules and deadlines listed on https://merchantnegotiators.com/#small-business-grant. This document outlines program details and instructions for submitting an application.

Media Partners:

1. Encourage your readers to apply for the Small Business Grant
2. Add an application badge to your website
3. Write about the problem of the funding disparity for minority entrepreneurs
4. Support minority owned small businesses in your community
5. Engage with other minority entrepreneurship advocates by including the hashtag #GrantUsAChance in all communications regarding the grant

Remember: Every little bit helps!

Click Here to Learn How to Apply

Click Here to View Entire Press Release

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Race Doesn’t Exist

French physician Francois Bernier was the first to use the word “race” as a category for scientifically classifying humans in a 1684 essay titled “A New Division of the Earth, According to the Different Species or Races of Men Who Inhabit It”.


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In addition, Johan Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840), a medical professor in Germany, argued that human beings fall into five races: Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malay. He argued that Caucasians derived from the Caucasus Mountain region and embodied the ideal human from which the others degenerated. It was a popular belief that Caucasians were the ideal form based on a skull that had been found in the Caucasus Mountains, near the alleged location of Noah’s ark. What this classification achieved is the setting up of a color line. Blumenbach classified five chief races of mankind and by attributing psychological value and importance to race; this became what we know as racism.

Science has a lot to do with the usage of “race” to identify a people. Although there is uncertainty in the title about the correctness of the term “race” versus “species” to classify human variation, Bernier relied on categories based on outward physical characteristics such as skin color.

Carolus_Linnaeus_(cleaned_up_version)A prime example is Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus’ system of biological classifications in Systemae Naturae, published in 1735. Linnaean taxonomy is the system of scientific classification of plants and animals now widely used in the biological sciences. He formalized the distinction among the continental populations of the world and his work helped characterize the concept of race. In the tenth edition of Systemae Naturae, which was published in 1758, Linnaeus projected four subcategories of Homo sapiens: Americanus; Asiaticus; Africanus; and Europeanus. In short, the moral components of race–such as beliefs, values, etc., were not as prevalent where racial hierarchy was already established by slavery, but the word race was a general term that was used interchangeably with species, sort, type or variety. This is why there is no such thing as a race of people.

crayons-labThe concept of Race is a new ideology and has not always been with us. Genesis Chapter 10, known as The Table of Nations, gives an example of how people were split into nations and lands and language, not races. In fact, “definitions of who is black vary quite sharply from country to country, and for this reason people in other countries often express consternation about our definition.” (F. James Davis). What has happened then? How has a nation of people now become a race of people? They told you about a brown man, a black man, a yellow man, a red man, and a white man. It’s as if they took their crayons and painted us the colors of their expectations. After coloring they began the tasks of assigning these colors to class and certain geological locations in that they may properly identify them. Not necessarily so that these people may identify themselves, but so that racial superiority would reign supreme.

6a00d83420747353ef01a511c3312b970c-320wiThe U.S. Census Bureau defines race as “a social category recognized by the United States and does not attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically”. The Census Bureau recognizes five categories of race: White (people with origins in Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa,) Black or African American (Africa), American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. The census also includes a Hispanic ethnic category. It is an ethnic category rather than a race category because the Latino community is said to include many races, such as White, Black, Native American, Asian, and mixed.

The truth is that every single person on the face of the earth belongs to a nation of people, as he was so divided since the beginning, and thus he falls into whatever family according to his nationality. Every people have a nation to which they belong, followed by a specific set of laws, customs, and traditions separated only by land and this is why race does not exist, because there’s no such thing as a race of people. Sure, we may use the term for understanding sake, one may say “my race is..” so that the person next to him gets it, but he does not really belong to a race, he belongs to a nation. Prejudices, Biases, and oppression of one people who feel superior over another people does exist, but race within the concept to which we’ve grown to know it, does not.