PayPal is launching a new grant program for emerging small businesses. The Venmo Small Business Grant will provide $10,000 grants, mentorship services, and additional benefits to 20 Venmo Business Profile users.
The Venmo Small Business Grant program includes $200,000 in total grant funding. Each recipient will get $10,000, which can go toward various expenses, from rent to digital marketing.
To qualify, businesses must have less than $50,000 in annual revenue and ten or fewer employees. Applicants must also have an active Venmo Business Profile. However, there’s still time to sign up for one before the application period closes. The program is open to new users who sign up during the application window. Currently, there are more than 1.5 million small businesses that use Venmo Business Profiles to market their business and collect and organize payments. The product launched back in February 2021.
In addition to the qualifications for applicants, the Venmo Small Business Grant will apply equal opportunity judging criteria to support underrepresented entrepreneurs. Specifically, the program hopes to award some grants to Black, Latinx, and women entrepreneurs, though these are not prerequisites for applying.
The application deadline is August 11. An independent judging committee will then evaluate the applications and select winners, which will then be announced in September.
Eligible businesses who are selected for the program receive:
- A $10,000 grant
- Professional consulting and mentorship services
- Access to business resources from Venmo and PayPal
- Public promotion on the Venmo and PayPal websites and social media accounts
Mentorship and consulting services will cover an array of topics, from legal services to financial analysis. Paypal is partnering with a variety of organizations to facilitate these benefits. Partners include Start Small, Think Big and Taproot Foundation. PayPal and Venmo employees will also provide mentoring, coaching, and select pro bono services. So many offerings will focus on cash flow and functions related to payments. This is especially important today, as many businesses are struggling to stay afloat due to pandemic-related hardships, inflation, and various worker and inventory shortages.
Denise Leonhard, Vice President of Venmo said in a statement, “The last two years have been tremendously difficult for small businesses in communities across the United States, like your local dog walker, barber and florist. Nearly 200,000 U.S. businesses have been forced to close because of the pandemic. Small businesses are vital to a healthy economy and thriving communities, and through the Venmo Small Business Grant we can provide much-needed funding and support to help them build resilience, grow and succeed.”
How to Apply
If you’re interested in applying for the Venmo Small Business Grant, you must first set up a Venmo Business Profile if you don’t already have one. In addition to making you eligible for the grant program, business profiles simplify checkout and can increase your visibility in the community, since customers can publicly share who they’ve made payments to. There’s no fee to sign up for a business profile. But there is a transaction fee of 1.9 percent plus 0.10, which is subject to change.
Once you have an active profile, simply complete an online application by August 11 to be considered.
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