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13 AANHPI Resources for Entrepreneurs
July 18, 2023
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Asian-owned businesses are big contributors to the U.S. economy. They make up the largest share of minority-owned employer businesses in the U.S., employing 5.2 million people and generating $841 billion in revenue per year—those are inspiring statistics.

Entrepreneurship can be a great opportunity for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs, sometimes referred to as AAPIs). Entrepreneurship also has its challenges. In The State of AAPI Small Business Owners report by Hello Alice, 33 percent of the Asian small business owners surveyed said their number one challenge is access to capital.

This is where professional organizations can help. Many can provide valuable education and support to AANHPI business owners. Some Asian-Pacific organizations may focus on opportunities specifically for Asian-owned businesses, such as access to capital through grants or loans. These resources are worth exploring.

13 AANHPI Resources

Here are 13 valuable business resources for AANHPI businesses and how they can help you.

1) Asian Business Empowerment Council

Asian Business Empowerment Council (ABEC) is a new venture incubated by the Asian Community Fund and funded by the Eastern Bank Foundation and the Boston Foundation.

One of its goals is to be a central hub for entrepreneurs, business owners, advocates and service providers, to increase AAPI’s economic power and to address the systemic disparities that limit business ownership, growth and sustainability.

ABEC provides equitable access to business resources and capital for the Asian American business community and addresses issues such as access to financial resources, language translation and navigating government regulatory processes.

By partnering with nonprofits, tech providers and educational institutions, ABEC offers programs to help Asian entrepreneurs to develop language skills, technical skills, financial acumen and business knowledge.

2) ACE NextGen

ACE NextGen was founded to increase Asian presence in American leadership. Less than 2 percent of Asians occupy leadership positions in politics, business, medicine, academia and entrepreneurship.

Its Women’s Initiative provides scholarship opportunities for women entrepreneurs through its Level Up and Inner Circles programs. And it offers webinars and speaker events led by successful AAPI women.

3) Asian Leaders Alliance 

The Asian Leaders Alliance (ALA) is a volunteer-led coalition of more than 600 AANHPI Employee Resource/Business Resource Groups with over 2,000 global leaders, DEI practitioners and nonprofit partners. The ALA wants to empower AANHPIs to develop as workplace and community leaders, and it's free to join this community. 

The ALA offers numerous networking and other opportunities to connect and earn from other AANHPI business leaders who support one another. The site also offers many educational videos and articles. 

4) Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce 

Based in Michigan, the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC) is a nonprofit dedicated to the economic advancement of AAPI businesses and professionals. Its mission is to help facilitate business relationships and promote the economic advancement of AAPIs. 

APACC offers numerous educational and networking opportunities in Michigan for members. Members in several counties in Michigan could be eligible for a loan of up to $50,000.


APARTNERSHIP is a brand communications agency team staffed by multicultural advertising experts who help businesses reach Asian American consumers. The agency offers clients a view of the competitive landscape and current consumer trends. It also shows how consumers’ home country influences a company’s reach into different segments of the Asian American marketplace.

Clients receive a go-to-market plan customized for their businesses. The website features informative articles about AAPI consumer trends.

6) Asian American Business Development Center

The nonprofit Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC) was founded to promote the contributions made by Asian American businesses and individuals to the economy. In addition, it generates opportunities and greater recognition for the Asian business community through its diversity and inclusion initiatives. The AABDC also encourages Asian Americans in business to be more actively involved in issues and policies that directly affect them at the federal, state, and city levels.

The AABDC has a broad focus, working to raise the representation of Asian Americans in corporate leadership, increase the numbers of Asian American women in senior roles, and advocate for economic equity for all minority-owned small businesses. As part of their support for small businesses, the AABDC’s Project Rebuild is dedicated to helping minority small businesses by providing technical assistance support, including capital access, legal consultancy and digital marketing, identifying resources that small businesses most need. 

The AABDC offers programs and conferences throughout the year where Asian-owned businesses can connect and network. This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the “Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Awards,” highlighting the achievements of Asian American entrepreneurs, professionals and corporate executives.  

7) Center for Asian Pacific Women 

The Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW) nurtures AANHPI communities by expanding leadership capacity, fostering awareness of issues, creating a supportive network, and strengthening communities. Noting the lack of Asian women in prominent leadership positions, in 1995, a group of AANHPI women (calling them the “Warrior Sisters”) founded the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute (APAWLI). The goal was to develop, prepare, and support AANHPI women for leadership roles.

Today CAPAW advances what the Warrior Sisters started, offering training opportunities, regional conferences, and national leadership summits to reach more Asian women across America. In addition, the APAWLI annual in-depth leadership program teaches AANHPI women leadership skills and offers the opportunity to connect and network with other accomplished AAPI women.

CAPAW’s core belief is that “Every action, no matter how small, makes a difference.”

CAPAW just launched a new program, UNLEASH THE sHERO IN YOU!, which was created for women of color who’ve been working for five years or less to develop, implement and positively impact communities by addressing issues around racism.

8) Gold House 

Gold House is a nonprofit organization focusing on the success of Asian Pacific creatives, founders and executives.

There are two membership levels open to Asian Pacific entrepreneurs:

Gold Rush: a 12-week program focused on product development where you learn how to increase your company’s productivity and brand awareness.

Founder Network: AAPI entrepreneurs learn how to accelerate business growth through strategic programming and industry partnerships.

Gold House’s Angel Network investors advance Asian Pacific businesses through intensive networking, strategic investments and cultural leadership. In addition, there are monthly salons encouraging investment in ventures for members.

9) The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans 

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) is a coalition of 46 national Asian Pacific American organizations representing the interests of the AANHPI communities and providing a national voice for AANHPI issues. Its member organizations address a broad array of AANHPI issues and challenges. 

NCAPA is not focused on small businesses but concentrates on public policy issues affecting all AANHPIs, such as its program to Stop Asian Hate.

10) National ACE

The National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE) was started in 2012 by a group of Asian American executives to serve as the unified voice of the business interests of AAPIs. Their mission is to advance the aspirations of the AAPI business community.  

National ACE advances AAPI business owners by providing “one voice” for the AAPI business community, building capacity, and fostering economic development through advocacy, partnerships, and programs.

Through its Small Business Resource Center (SBRC), National ACE provides virtual training for AAPI small businesses on topics like marketing, using Google tools, access to capital, understanding government funding opportunities, and networking with other business owners.

In 2022, National ACE launched the #AAPISTRONG movement to combat the rise in AAPI hate and discrimination. The AAPISTRONG Fund offers grants to AAPI-owned small businesses. More than $2 million has been distributed.

11) National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) is a progressive coalition of local organizations advocating and organizing for low-income AANHPI communities and neighborhoods. Its goal is to strengthen and mobilize its members to build power nationally and further its economic and social justice vision for all.

Its Small Business Program helps AANHPI entrepreneurs start, grow and sustain small businesses. The program provides technical assistance, peer learning, and mentorship.

12) National Association of Asian American Professionals

The National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) has 30 chapters across North America. It’s a volunteer-run nonprofit designed to inspire, develop, and connect business leaders across industries and communities through networking and educational events, trainings, community service programs, and celebrations of AAPI excellence.

NAAAP offers numerous networking opportunities and conferences. It also features programs for women and the Asian American LGBTQ+ professional community.

Members can tap into its Speakers Bureau and robust career center to post jobs.

13) US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation

The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC) is considered one of the top educational, training, and networking organizations for Pan Asian Americans. With more than 30 years of experience in business matchmaking, it has helped businesses connect to Fortune 1000 corporations, government agencies and nonprofits. Its mission is to be “the gateway to corporate and government contracts and Pan Asian American suppliers."

USPAACC offers certification as an Asian American (minority-owned) business, increasing the chances of small businesses contracting with large companies and government agencies.

Another resource to be aware of is The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), which is helping build a “safer, more inclusive future for AAPIs.” The organization was founded in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate and violence and funds nonprofits working toward that end.

Many of the organizations noted here provide networking opportunities, both local and national, for AAPI entrepreneurs. But to take advantage of what they offer, you need to engage with them. Explore their websites; many also offer educational articles and videos to help you start and grow your small business.

Get Involved 

Joining a networking organization is one of the best ways to expand your network and make valuable contacts. If you’re not sure which organization is best for you, consider the following:

  • Identify your goals. What do you want to achieve?
  • Explore the websites provided above. You’ll learn more about what these organizations do and how they can help you.
  • Once you find the organizations that fit your needs, join and get involved. Attend their events. Ask questions and volunteer for committees.

Remember, building relationships isn’t an instant process. Keep showing up and participating to show your commitment.

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