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Diversity-Owned Business Resources

Local, state and federal organizations can help qualifying minority-owned firms develop and grow their businesses through counseling, training workshops, and technical guidance. Below are few resources. 


Minority-Owned Business Directory & Certification

Certification is a review process designed to ensure that a small business is owned, controlled and operated by the applicants. Most certifications are granted for minority- or women-owned businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, and underutilized businesses.  

Directory of South Carolina Division of Small and Minority-Owned Certified Businesses

Directory of North Carolina Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Certified Businesses

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and SBE Certification Directories

Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the United States and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs.

Eligible minority- and woman-owned companies can apply for certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).

Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Certification is a professional certification that documents a special capability or status that will help you compete in the marketplace. 

Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification - A diversity certification that is normally issued through your local and/or state government.

National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) is the nation's leading third party authority for certification of veteran-owned businesses of all sizes and the corporations wanting to engage them.

Veteran-Owned Businesses

South Carolina Small Business Development Center helps veterans make the transition to entrepreneurs with guidance and mentorship resources.

National Veteran-Owned Business Association offers webinars, training workshops, and mentorship to assist aspiring business-owning veterans.

U.S. Small Business Administration provides resources to veterans to help you start and grow your small business. From creating a business plan to finding your first customer, they are here to help you succeed.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization has government programs, financing opportunities, and business tools for veterans. 

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits department provides workforce-related assistance to veterans with service-connected disabilities, as well as vocational counseling to active duty military who are about to separate from service. Includes information on employment and independent living services, educational counseling, how to apply for benefits, application forms and department contact information.

Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) serve America's veterans and separating service members by preparing them for meaningful careers, providing employment resources and expertise, and protecting their employment rights.

Women-Owned Businesses

U.S. Small Business Administration Women-Owned Businesses Resource Portal features small business programs and resources for women entrepreneurs.

South Carolina Women's Business Center helps women start, run and grow small businesses. Email and phone counseling available for women throughout the state.

Mentors and Counselors for Women-Owned Businesses provides a list of organizations that help women access the networking, financing, mentoring and research they need to succeed in business.

U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce holds meetings and web conferences to inspire women, and to help them find the motivation to become successful business owners. 

Association of Women’s Business Centers has webinars, developmental tools, and advice from professionals to help women succeed in their small business.

National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses provides resources like digital magazines, interviews with professionals, workshops, and networking to women with businesses in the real estate industry. 

National Association of Women Business Owners offers mentoring, business publications, and online library databases to members who want to grow their businesses. 

National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms provides meetings, trends, and legal education support for women in the legal business industry. Most of their resources are open to the public.

Resource Center for Women in Business offers financial aid and scholarship resources, entrepreneurial funding opportunities, and networking opportunities with professional associations and organizations for women interested in furthering their career as a business professional or entrepreneur.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender-Owned Businesses

South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Business Guild - Not-for-profit, all volunteer organization encourages networking, business development and support within the gay and lesbian community.

Entrepreneurs With Disabilities

U.S. Small Business Administration lists entrepreneurship resources for people with disabilities.

South Carolina Commission for the Blind provides assistance for training employees.

Young Entrepreneurs

U.S. Small Business Administration posts resources for young entrepreneurs, including educational tools, guides and sample business plans. 

Minority-Owned Business Funding

Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments Revolving Loan Fund & Grant Services
1230 Highmarket St., Georgetown, SC 29440
Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments is responsible for administering the EDA Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) for the region. The Title IX Revolving Loan Fund Program is a low interest loan program available to businesses and industries within the three-county area of the Waccamaw Region. Funds for this program have been provided by the Economic Development Administration for the purpose of creating jobs and improving the economy of the Waccamaw Region.

U.S. Small Business Administration Loans and Grants - If your small business is engaged in scientific research and development (R&D), you may qualify for federal grants.

U.S Small Business Administration Economic Disaster Loans - If you have suffered substantial economic injury and are one of the following types of businesses located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). - Register with, search for federal grant opportunities, and begin the application process.

How to get a Business Loan - Where to look and how to prepare to fund your small business.

5th T Innovation Group/Conway Innovation Center
1119 Third Ave., Conway, SC 2952
Provides Micro-Business Loan program to serve businesses in need of operating capital.

Minority Business Development Agency
1515 Richland St., Ste. C, Columbia, SC 29201

SCRA - SC Launch Program
1000 Catawba St., Columbia, SC 29201
SC Launch program provides a framework to grow South Carolina's innovation economy by providing mentoring, funding, commercialization assistance and the resources necessary to successfully launch start-ups in the state.

Business Development Corporation (BDC) of South Carolina
P.O. Box 21823, Columbia, SC 29221

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Programs
South Carolina District Office
1835 Assembly St., Ste. 1425, Columbia, SC

South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs
2221 Devine St., Ste. 408, Columbia, SC 29205
The official agency of South Carolina's state government serving the diverse communities of color.

Business USA Financing Wizard - In a few quick steps, this questionnaire will guide you to government resources to access financing for your business.

Minority Business Development Agency - Loans and Grants  

Minority Business Development Agency - Small Business Investment Companies

Administration for Native Americans - Funding for Native Americans

U.S. Small Business Administration Loan Programs - SBA offers a variety of loan programs for very specific purposes. Take some time to study the programs described in this section, to see if you qualify to participate.

Need business capital – Learn how to secure financing to start, manage and grow your small business. 


City of Myrtle Beach Purchasing Division encourages participation from local, small, minority, veteran-owned, and women-owned businesses for city contracts. 

South Carolina Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification website serves as a one-stop shop for those looking for minority-owned businesses or looking to become certified as a minority-owned business. 

8(a) Business Development Program - Learn how SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace.

Contracting Support for Woman-Owned Small Businesses - U.S. Small Business Administration's Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program sets aside federal contracts for women-owned small businesses in eligible industries. 

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) - PTAP advisers located across the region provide no-cost, confidential, one-on-one technical assistance in all aspects of selling to federal, state, and local governments. 

U.S. Small Business Administration - Government Contracting Programs 

U.S Small Business Administration - Minority-Owned Business Government Contracting

U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Development Agency - MBDA Federal Procurement Center - Helps eligible minority business enterprises identify and access federal procurement opportunities as well as obtain and perform on federal contracts. 

Government Contracting Classroom - Free online contracting courses designed to help prospective and existing small businesses understand the basics about contracting with government

Minority/Disadvantaged Business Certification and Development Program - The Minority/Disadvantaged Business Certification and Development Program, or 8(a) Business Development Program, is a nine year federal government contracting certification program established to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals develop and grow their businesses. 

Minority Business Development Agency Business Centers - Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Centers provide services to assist eligible minority business enterprise (MBE) clients to achieve higher levels of growth and competitiveness.

Native American Business Enterprise Centers - The Native American Business Enterprise Center is operated through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency. NABEC provides professional business consulting services and technical assistance to Native Americans to manage, grow and expand their businesses.

Staffing Resources

Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments - Do you have a position that needs to be filled? The Workforce Development Department operates three full-service SC Works Centers that provide employers access to trained workers in the region. SC Works Waccamaw Region

S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SC DEW) - Trying to find qualified workers to fill job openings? Looking for information about how to pay your unemployment taxes? Or looking for money for job training? 

North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) - Provides recruiting and screening assistance to on the job training through ReadySC. And the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT) also offers customized training and startup assistance.

South Carolina Business One Stop - The official South Carolina business web portal.  It enables anyone with an existing business or anyone starting a new business to file permits, licenses, registrations or pay taxes.

Local Resources for Minority-Owned Business Development

Small Business Development Center
Coastal Carolina University
Janet Graham, area manager
PO Box 261954, Conway, SC 29528-6054
Atlantic Center
642 Century Circle, Rooms 103 & 104
Conway, SC 29526

Grand Strand SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
Grand Strand Chapter 318
605 10th Ave. N.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development
2050 U.S. 501 East, Building 900
Conway, SC 29526
843-347-4604 or 800-844-4983

5th T Innovation Group/Conway Innovation Center
1119 Third Ave.
Conway, SC 2952

General Resources

South Carolina Department of Commerce has Minority Business Resource Collaborative Entrepreneurial Workshops & Business Information Fairs. The Small Business Development Team works on improving businesses and maximizing potential for economic growth. 

Minority Business Development Agency: US Department of Commerce offers webinars, mentoring, business tools, and training for small businesses owned by minority groups. 

U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce has training and meetings for Asian-American related groups within business and other industries.

U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Native American Affairs has empowering workshops and developmental tools for Native Americans businesses. Resources include starting and managing a business.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Administration for Native Americans provides webinars and funding opportunities for Native American business owners.

U.S. Department of the Interior Affairs offers loans and business development for Native American business owners.

U.S. Small Business Administration has resources to help you plan your business, manage your business, launch your business, grow your business.


Visit for free seminars aimed at helping you grow your diversity-owned business.


Grand Strand SCORE Free Webinars - From finance and management to technology and marketing.

Small Business Administration Free Webinars - From managing a business to process improvements.

South Carolina Business Development Center Free Webinars - From patents, copyrights and trademarks to hiring a marketing firm.