Many small business grant programs aim to support employers and businesses that are open to hiring new team members. However, self-employed individuals can often benefit from increased funding as well.
NASE Growth Grants
The National Association for the Self-Employed is currently accepting applications for the next round of its NASE Growth Grants program. This is a unique opportunity for self-employed individuals to receive $4,000 in grant funds. The program has run since 2006, with NASE awarding nearly $1 million in total funds. The program is open to NASE members and funded by AARP and Dell Computers. Recipients can use funds for various business expenses, from marketing to expanding their facilities. It currently costs $120 a year or $10 per month for NASE membership. The current grant cycle will accept applications through March, and applications will be reviewed in April. NASE accepts grant applications throughout the year and reviews them quarterly to award funds to eligible self-employed individuals and businesses.
Transform Tucson: Changemakers Grant Program
Tucson, Arizona, is partnering with Groundswell Capital to launch the new Transform Tucson: Changemakers Grant Program. The program will begin accepting applications in January 2024, with Groundswell Capital investing $500,000 into multiple grant opportunities for Tucson’s small business community. Here’s a short explanation of each option:
- The Tucson Good Energy Grant Fund will offer grants of up to $10,000 to businesses investing in various green initiatives. This may include businesses that purchase solar panels or Energy Star-Certified Equipment.
- The Upskilling Tucson Fund will offer up to $10,000 for businesses looking to invest in employees. This may include various workforce development initiatives like training sessions or certification programs that help small businesses and their employees thrive.
- The Keep Tucson Amable grant program will award up to $5,000 to businesses that provide some kind of social impact within the city. The goal of the program is to keep the city’s business community friendly and kind.
- The Groundswell Seed Fund will provide $5,000 in grant support to entrepreneurs who are launching new ventures. Founders can use funds for various startup expenses.
- The Groundswell Growth Fund will award up to $10,000 to businesses looking to scale their enterprises. Recipients can use funds for anything from purchasing new equipment and technology to expanding to new locations.
- The [CREATE] Content With A Purpose grant will offer up to $2,000 for local filmmakers and content creators. To enter, creators must produce a short documentary-style video highlighting a local business in Tucson.
Applications for each of these grants will open in January 2024. Information forms are currently available online. Interested entrepreneurs can fill them out to receive notifications when the application period opens.
Des Moines Center at Sixth Grant
Center at Sixth, a business incubator in Des Moines, Iowa, recently received a $700,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to support local businesses. The incubator is poised to open in Des Moines’ Center Street neighborhood, a historically Black neighborhood, with the goal of revitalizing the once-thriving community. Many thriving Black-owned businesses in the area were removed in the 1950s to make way for Interstate 235 and other city planning projects. Center at Sixth is slated to open in the fall of 2024 and will help local businesses seek funding and other growth and startup opportunities.
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