The US Department of Commerce has launched its Capital Readiness Program [CRP] The grant competition, which provides $93.5 million to help minority and other disadvantaged entrepreneurs open or expand a business. The program, administered by the Minority Business Development Agency, is the largest program of its size in the history of the Department of Commerce.
The program provides funding to incubators and accelerators across the country, with expertise to assist and train minority and other disadvantaged entrepreneurs seeking resources, tools and technical assistance to launch or develop their businesses in high-growth industries. High as health care, technology is resistant to weather, provides. , asset management, infrastructure and more.
While businesses owned by women of color are among the fastest growing sectors of the economy, structural barriers prevent many women from starting businesses, accessing capital, finding childcare solutions, and building peer networks.
CRP provides curriculum, tools, and resources to minority entrepreneurs to access capital and funding and connects them with subject matter experts, vendors, and peer support to help start or expand their businesses.
“During the pandemic, women and minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs were among the hardest hit and often lacked the resources to keep their doors open,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
We cannot allow this to happen again. That’s why the Capital Readiness Program prioritizes and encourages resources and tools like childcare services that ensure more people can start and grow businesses.”
Black and Hispanic female founders accounted for less than half of all venture capital investments in 2020, according to Don Graves, US Deputy Secretary of Commerce.
“Using the next generation of entrepreneurs and ensuring diverse representation in these high-growth industries is essential not only to spur innovation, but to create a more resilient economy that reflects all Americans,” he said.
CRP is intended to serve entrepreneurs and businesses that have applied, have applied, or plan to apply for SSBCI or other government programs that support small businesses.
“We recognize that entrepreneurs and small businesses in long-underserved communities lack equal access to resources and capital to reach their full economic potential,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo.
“Through the Capital Readiness Program, the Minority Business Development Agency—which is tasked with promoting the growth and competitiveness of our nation’s minority-owned businesses—helps entrepreneurs and business owners get the information they need to access funding through support programs. Get small businesses.
When entrepreneurs and small business owners in all communities have the opportunity to compete and thrive, it increases our nation’s overall economic potential and growth.
MBDA is the only federal government agency dedicated to supporting minority-owned businesses, companies and entrepreneurs and helping them overcome barriers to economic success. According to Donald Craven Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Minority Business Development Agency, “This is a unique place to provide technical assistance and help these businesses take advantage of SSBCI capital programs and other government programs that support small businesses. do.”
He said: “Capital readiness program will open doors for entrepreneurs.
“The biggest barrier facing disadvantaged entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs of color, is access. MBDA can effectively leverage this initiative to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses, access capital through the Treasury Department’s SSBCI capital program, and access networks that address the unique challenges of minority and other entrepreneurs. Understands the lack of services and takes care of them.
Entities that are eligible to apply include non-profit organizations, private sector entities, higher education institutions, and a consortium consisting of two or more individuals from each of the aforementioned eligible applicants.
Addressing one of the biggest barriers facing women in the workplace, the competition encourages applicants to offer childcare solutions such as on-site daycare as a strategic priority. It also encourages proposals from organizations working to remove economic barriers for disadvantaged communities and support traditionally underrepresented, high-growth industries.
Beginning in January, MBDA will host a series of informational webinars prior to the program. The webinars will help potential applicants better understand the Capital Readiness Program and the program requirements outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Webinars are scheduled for January 10, 17, and 24, 2023 at 2:00 PM ET.
For more information about the program and to register for pre-application webinars, visit www.MBDA.gov.