EmPOWER Resources

Discover underrepresented business resources at local, state, and national levels, including mentorship, one-on-one business counseling, financing, advocacy, and educational services below.

Click here for FCOED resources, including PR Frederick and ROOT Business Pitch Services.

For assistance navigating these resources, connect with Shana Knight, Senior Business Development Manager – Diversity & Inclusion, at (240) 285-4781 or SKnight@FrederickCountyMD.gov​.


AARCH Society (African American Resource and Cultural History Society) – Identifies, collects, preserves, and exhibits the cultural objects, artifacts, and stories that tell and celebrate the unique history, culture, and heritage of African Americans in Frederick County, Maryland.

Asian American Center of Frederick - Provides vital services to assist lower-income, minority, or immigrant groups access health insurance enrollment, interpreter/translation services, ESL and Citizenship classes, mentoring, housing, education, employment, and business development services.

The Arc of Frederick County - Helps people with developmental disabilities to live enviable lives by providing services, advocacy, and creating supportive communities.

Centro Hispano de Frederick – Supports the immigrant community in Frederick County through tools, classes, and resources.

Community Living Inc.: Supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate in the Frederick community as fully as their abilities allow, and live as independently as they can. 

Indian Association of Frederick, Inc. - promotes and develops cultural ties among people of Indian origin and creates awareness of the Indian ethnic culture in Frederick County.

The Frederick Center – Frederick County’s leading organization for LGBTQIA resources and advocacy in central Maryland.

Mid-Maryland SCORE – Serves Frederick, Carroll, and Washington counties by providing expert mentorship services to small business professionals looking to start, grow, and develop their businesses.

The Scott Key Center - fosters a broad range of person-centered, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Frederick County Maryland.

Woman to Woman Mentoring, Inc. - Cultivates mentor relationships that provide women with guidance, support, and community connections.


Latino Economic Development Center - Equips Latinos and other underrepresented peoples with the skills and financial tools needed for financial security, stable living situations, and small business growth or expansion.

Maryland Governor’s Ethnic Commissions - Through the governor’s seven ethnic and cultural commissions, Marylanders are connected to the governor’s administration.

Maryland Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs – Connects the small business community to economic opportunities in public and private sectors.

Maryland SBDC - Offers free individualized consulting, comprehensive trainings, and resources to startup or existing business owners.

Maryland Women’s Business Center – Through workshops, individual counseling, peer group support, special resources, and access to capital, MWBC helps women gain the skills, connections, and confidence necessary to navigate entrepreneurship.

Military Personnel and Veteran-owned Small Business Loan Program (MPVOLP) – A no-interest $1,000-$50,000 loan program geared towards veteran small business owners that can be used to purchase equipment or offset general business expenses.

SBDC - Hispanic Business Center - A national SBDC network member, The Hispanic Business Center provides advice, consulting, and support to the Latino business community on financing, marketing, obtaining government certifications, and various other topics.

Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Account - Video Lottery Terminal Fund (VLT) - The Video Lottery Terminal Fund uses the funds generated from video lottery terminals (slots) to aid small, minority, and women-owned businesses.

Spanish Speaking Communities of Maryland - A nonprofit dedicated to empowering low-income families and immigrants by providing opportunities in education, community development programs, immigration support services, healthcare, and housing.


Disability:IN - The only national disability organization led by businesses for businesses, Disability:IN promotes best practices in hiring, retaining, and marketing to people with disabilities.

Minority Business Development Agency - A federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of American minority business enterprises.

National Veteran-Owned Business Association - A nonprofit organization that helps veteran-owned businesses thrive through certification, advocacy, outreach, networking, development, recognition, and education services.

Project Opportunity - Designed solely for veterans, active duty, and reserve personnel, Project Opportunity is a free entrepreneurship training program.

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal - Provides veterans with the resources needed to start a business, access financing, and other services and benefits pertaining to business development.


Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council - An affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, this Capital Region chapter seeks to assist its corporate members by connecting them to well-developed, certified minority businesses.

Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce - Offers support for starting, sustaining, and growing successful Black businesses in Maryland through networking opportunities, affinity groups, resources, and partnerships.

Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce: Aims to empower and promote the economic well-being of the LGBT+ community in the Maryland marketplace through providing their members with education, networking, and advocacy.

Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association – Advocates for minority and female trade contractors, suppliers, and service providers.

Mid Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - Leads efforts to unify and strengthen Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region in economic, workforce, and community development.

National Minority Business Council - A nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding the opportunities available to small, minority, and women business owners.