Antares Awards $1M in Grants to Underrepresented Founders in Partnership with Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network

40 early-stage small businesses will receive $20,000 in grants with an opportunity to receive an additional $5,000

CHICAGO, Oct. 19, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Antares today announced the recipients of $1 million in grants under the company’s REACH program, which first started in June of this year. This first grant program was developed in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and Hello Alice, a multichannel platform that helps companies start and grow, to create a level playing field for entrepreneurs in underrepresented groups such as women, people of color, Military-affiliated personnel, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

A total of 40 grants totaling $20,000 were awarded to early-stage small businesses led by diverse and underrepresented founders. Of the recipients, selected from a pool of over 100,000 applications, 90 percent are businesses led by people of color and 88 percent are led by women or gender non-discriminators. Companies from over a dozen different industries are represented, led by founders from 4 different generations. The founders will use the grants to launch products, expand their regional footprint, and continue to drive positive social impact in the communities where they operate.

“Each grantee underscores REACH’s core mission of supporting diverse and historically underrepresented founders and ensuring they have the resources needed to grow their businesses,” said Mary (Gaede) Rose, Executive Director and REACH program leader at Antares. “We are very excited to support these companies and improve capital flow at a fundamental level by expanding diversity in the business ecosystem on the journey to private equity.”

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To qualify, companies must have a viable product or service with annual sales of less than $5 million and be operated by entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented groups. In addition to the $20,000 stipend, all recipients are eligible for an additional $5,000 stipend after completing a post-grant report. They also gain access to professional development opportunities through Hello Alice.

“We are proud to partner with Antares and GEN to support underrepresented founders through some of their earliest – and most challenging – stages of growing their business,” said Carolyn Rodz, co-founder and CEO of Hello Alice. “These grants will play an important role in accelerating the growth of any business while leveling the playing field for diverse entrepreneurs across the country.”

This announcement comes just a year after women-founded companies received less than 2 percent of the capital invested in VC-backed startups in the US, and black-owned startups just over 1 percent. REACH aims to close this gap by expanding access to capital for these historically underrepresented groups in their earliest stages of formation.

“The Antares REACH Grant is very meaningful and restorative for me and my manufacturing company as kubé builds regenerative food systems that exist to restore life, health, joy, dignity and justice to people, animals and the soil. With this grant, I want to create high-paying manufacturing jobs to meet our growing demand,” said Kai Nortey, CEO, co-founder of kubé.

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“We know and live the needs of the recovery community every day. Having the resources to meet those needs is a rare opportunity. We plan to improve not only the business, but the lives of our employees, customers and community,” said Dr. Teresa Walker, owner of the New Leaf Clinic.

REACH is a key tenet of Antares’ We Build Community effort, which focuses on grassroots organizations that support historically underrepresented groups and give back to the communities where Antares employees live and work. To learn more about the grant program visit

About Hello Alice
Hello Alice is a free platform that gives small business owners the tools, resources and access to finance they need to grow their business. With a community of over 800,000 business owners across all 50 states, Hello Alice is building the largest community of small business owners in the country while tracking data and trends to increase the success rate for this group. Our partners include enterprise business services, government agencies and institutions that want to support small and medium-sized businesses to ensure increased revenue and promote scaling. A Latina owned company founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore. We believe in business for all by providing access for all small business owners including women, people of color, veterans and anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more, visit, as well TwitterLinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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About Antares
With more than $55 billion of capital under management and under management as of June 30, 2022, Antares is a private credit servicer and a leading provider of financing and investment solutions to middle-market private equity-backed borrowers and investors. Since its inception in 1996, Antares has built one of the industry’s largest and longest-standing portfolios of middle-market companies and has been recognized by industry bodies as a leading provider of middle-market private debt. Through its Asset Management & Funding team, Antares offers investors the opportunity to invest in secured loan commitments, funds and segregated accounts. Antares is committed to driving mid-market growth throughout market cycles. This enables its employees, partners and communities to reach their full potential. The company has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. Visit Antares at or follow the company on LinkedIn at Antares Capital is a subsidiary of Antares Holdings LP (collectively “Antares”).

About the Global Entrepreneurship Network
The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates projects and programs in 200 countries to make it easier for anyone, anywhere, to start and scale a business. By fostering deeper cross-border collaborations and initiatives among entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and business support organizations, GEN works to foster healthier startup and scaling ecosystems that create more jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth . Visit for more information.

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Antares capital
Carol Ann Wharton
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