New fund supports women-owned businesses, particularly women of color

Business News |Jun 9, 2022|2 min read

Muskegon, MI- The recently launched Business Equity Initiative (BEI) Fund is a community project started by a group of local donors concerned about equity and wishing to support a Muskegon County economy that works for all. The BEI Fund is held at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and its goal is to position small business owners, particularly women of color, for success.

Grant applications are now being accepted from June 1- June 30, 2022, by Michigan Women Forward, the grant administrative partner.  Grant awards range from $1,000-$5,000 and are designed to help with expenses that are critical to operating a small business such as rent, utilities, machinery, equipment, marketing, supplies, furniture, fixtures, or licenses. Applicants must be women residing in Muskegon County who are low to moderate income and have been in business one to three years. Application forms and additional details are available on the Michigan Women Forward website Questions may be directed to Ana Jose,

Nancy McCarthy, a founding donor stated, “We were moved to start the BEI Fund after much study and discussion about inequities that exist in both our local and national economic systems. In doing so, we will create opportunities and close funding gaps for women entrepreneurs, supporting job creation, revenue growth and an economy that works for ALL.”

Supporters of the BEI Fund hope to engage and inspire others in Muskegon County to donate to the fund and grow the impact that collective giving can have on the lives of women entrepreneurs. Information on ways to give is available by contacting Jocelyn Hines at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County at or online at