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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Small and Minority Business Division

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The mission of the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs Small and Minority Business Division is to identify key issues and services that are necessary for the development of minority, small businesses, as well as the best measures for sustainability, programmatic implementation, enhancement, and economic growth. 

Current Priorities:

  1. To deliver high quality professional development and training to business firms, with the focus being on enhancing growth and increasing economic prosperity.

  2. To effectively communicate with all stakeholders through intentional marketing and media coordination for increased visibility and awareness.

  3. To design strategic management systems and processes that improve information sharing with collaborative partners and governmental agencies.

  4. To actively seek out and secure available funding opportunities available to small and minority businesses.

  5. Raise and increase awareness regarding the benefits of partnering with the Commission for Minority Affairs through continuous governmental, community and civic engagement. 


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Access to Capital Webinar

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs hosted a free Access to Capital webinar on Wednesday, March 30 to provide small business owners and entrepreneurs with information to help them in obtaining the capital needed to start, grow, and expand their business. The webinar can be viewed on the agency's YouTube channel.

In this session, participants will gain insight from business experts on how to secure the financial resources needed to achieve their business goals.

Experts include:

  • Frank Anderson, U.S. Small Business Administration-South Carolina
  • Marvin Wilson, Lendio Capital Charlotte
  • Paul Schmitt, Community Works
  • Cindi Rourk, CLIMB Fund

For more information, contact Anthony Brockington, Program Manager for SCCMA’s Small & Minority Business Division, at 803-832-8165 or

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Access to Capital Through CDFIs

Are you looking for a way to start, grow or expand your business and need access to capital? Community Development Financial Institutions may be able to help! The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) plays an important role in providing access to capital and financing for small businesses. Click here to view a list of approved lenders statewide

South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development's Certified CDCs and CDFIs

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SC Community Loan Fund Launches Entrepreneur Acceleration Program

The South Carolina Community Loan Fund has announced the implementation of the Local Entrepreneur Acceleration Program (LEAP). LEAP aims to support diversity in small business ownership across South Carolina by providing minority and women entrepreneurs with business plan development support, technical skills, and the chance to compete for a startup capital award. 

Important dates for this program are as follows: 

  • Cycle 1
    • Application Period: January 3 - February 4, 2022 
    • Decision Notification: late February 2022 
    • Classes: March 8 - May 10, 2022 
    • Pitch Nights: May 31 - June 2, 2022
  • Cycle 2
    • Application Period: April 25 - May 27, 2022
    • Decision Notification: mid May 2022
    • Classes: June 28 - August 30, 2022
    • Pitch Nights: September 20 - 22, 2022

For more information, go to:

Women in Contracting Conference

Women in Contracting Conference

Are you interested in contracting opportunities in construction, healthcare, transportation, energy and more? Register for the Women in Contracting Conference scheduled for Tuesday, March 22 at 9 a.m. The virtual conference will feature tips, best practices and upcoming opportunities from women who own successful contracting businesses, procurement managers and more.

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Apprenticeship Carolina and the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs partner to increase the number of minority-owned businesses participating in apprenticeship

Apprenticeship Carolina™ and the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday, November 8, 2021 designed to increase the number of South Carolina's minority-owned businesses participating in apprenticeship programs across the state.

"The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs is excited to be partnering with Apprenticeship Carolina on this initiative," said Dr. Delores Dacosta, executive director of the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. "We strive to provide innovative and constructive solutions in support of ethnic minority communities.  This agreement will help connect minority-owned businesses with the many opportunities available through Apprenticeship Carolina as well as direct them to grants and other funding opportunities to help offset training costs."

An apprenticeship is a time-tested method of employee development that combines supervised on-the-job learning and job-related education along with a scalable wage. Registered apprenticeship programs ensure that South Carolina's workforce has the skills needed to match today's in-demand jobs and jobs of the future.  Apprenticeships also provide a promising career pathway for participating apprentices who gain experience and the skills needed for the well-paying jobs that grow the state's economy.

"Apprenticeship Carolina has worked diligently for more than a decade to expand the use of registered apprenticeship in the state. We are thrilled to partner with the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs to drive further growth and diversity of programs across South Carolina,” said Dr. Amy Firestone, vice president for Apprenticeship Carolina. "We know that a registered apprenticeship program is an effective and proven workforce development tool. It's an opportunity to develop talent, enhance quality and build relationships that can benefit both the apprentice and the organization for years to come."

Since its inception in 2007, Apprenticeship Carolina has played a crucial role in growing apprenticeship participation across the state. As a result, the number of participating organizations has increased from 90 to more than 1,150 currently, and the number of apprentices has grown from 777 to nearly 37,000 total apprentices.

For more information on Apprenticeship Carolina, visit

Apprenticeship Grant Funding Available

Apprenticeship Carolina™ was awarded the United States Department of Labor’s State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation (SAEEI) grant. Part of this grant award included $600,000.00 in new funding allocated to provide incentive funding directly to employers to support them in starting or expanding Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

The Employer Incentive and Support Services Funding Announcement document outlines allowable uses of funding, employer and apprentice eligibility requirements and submission dates, along with the application. The Funding Announcement can be found at

Applications received by employers within the target industries will be reviewed and processed on a first come, first serve basis. Employers outside of the Targeted Industries are still encouraged to submit applications for funding. 

Apprenticeship Carolina™ staff will be hosting two (2) virtual office hours sessions that will be open to all employers interested in participating who have questions about the Funding Announcement or Application. Employers are welcome to drop in at any point during the two hour session. The session dates, and Zoom links, are as follows:

Monday, January 24 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM:

Monday, January 31 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM:

If, in reviewing the information, you have any questions, please contact Chip Fallaw, Grant Director at

The Bridge

The S.C. Commission for Minority Affairs (CMA) is collaborating with the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers, South Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), lenders and other partners to improve upon the economic impact of African American businesses and entrepreneurs. 

​This partnership focuses on expanding and enhancing services to (1) increase business growth and success; and (2) create economic growth and prosperity in African American communities.

​This new program created by the SC SBDC called “The BRIDGE,” stands for “Better Resources for Inclusion, Dialogue, Growth & Equity.” The overarching objectives of The BRIDGE are to: 

  • Expand outreach and awareness of small business services in underserved African American communities throughout the state of South Carolina;
  • Enhance and tailor business assistance to meet the needs of African American entrepreneurs; and
  • Engage African Americans in the challenge to pursue goals that advance both their own businesses AND local communities.

For more information, visit