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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Small and Minority Business Division

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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


Rural Economic Development

Rural Economic Development Programs in South Carolina: The Potential & The Prospects (Download PDF)

Check out the fact sheet, Rural Economic Development Programs in South Carolina: The Potential & The Prospects, for an overview of rural economic development programs available in the state include programs from the US Department of Agriculture, the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development (SCACED) and more. This fact sheet was prepared by SCCMA intern Daniel James II.

SC Ports Authority Legal Notices

SC Ports

Are you interested in working with the SC Ports Authority? Visit to view available opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs to bid on projects. Note: When visiting links for most Engineering Capital Construction projects, visitors will be redirected to the e-Builder website. Each new project requires the user to register (name, company name and email address). For more information on the SC Ports Authority, visit


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Minority Business Development Agency-US Department of Commerce

MBDA Grants

Business Webinar: EIDL & PPP Assistance

Webinar (Youtube)

SC Small Business Development Center Comparison Sheet (PDF)

Small Business Administration's Lender's List (PDF)

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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:

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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

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