Now through Friday, Oct. 26, WEDC is accepting applications from nonprofit and community-based organizations to receive funds from the Entrepreneurship Support Program.
The grant program, designed to advance the statewide climate for entrepreneurship, provides financial assistance between $10,000 and $100,000 for projects that promote entrepreneurship. Recipients will also receive key resources like training, mentorship, financial services and business development aid.
“The Entrepreneurship Support Grant is one of my favorite programs because it’s one where we see new and creative programs come from that assist Wisconsin entrepreneurs,” said Ed Javier, entrepreneurship program director of WEDC. “I’m fond of the startup mentality of looking for new ways to accelerate new businesses in Wisconsin and this program is a great example of that.”
Projects supported by the program must take place in 2019. The funds may be used for personnel, professional services, general administrative costs, and materials directly related to the project. Grants are awarded through a competitive process, with applications evaluated based on criteria including project alignment with program goals, applicant experience, project uniqueness, service need, impact, service area, collaboration and financial need. Submitted applications will be ranked to determine final award recipients.
Applicants are required to contribute matching funds equal to the amount of WEDC grant funding requested, which may include in-kind contributions of no more than 50 percent of the total match required. Applicants are limited to one grant per application year, and funding is not available for activities that are otherwise eligible to be funded through other programs offered by WEDC or its partners.
“Wisconsin recognizes how vital it is to support new business ventures because they create opportunity in the cities and communities where they are based,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “The Entrepreneurship Support Program helps organizations and provides the assistance needed for new business owners to thrive and our entrepreneurial culture to flourish.”
Launched as a pilot program in 2016, the initiative provided nearly $500,000 in grants to 11 projects statewide in its first year. It has since helped fund activities such as prototyping assistance, legal services and outreach to underserved entrepreneurs.
“The program does an excellent job of helping entrepreneurs and is tremendous at filling resource gaps, launching new initiatives and building strong networks,” said Aaron Hagar, WEDC’s vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation. “As always, we anticipate a host of innovative projects that show great promise and well-designed plans that just need a little more support in order to fully launch.”
Application details and additional program information can be found here.