MBDA is seeking proposals for its $93.5 million Capital Readiness Program grant competition to help minority and other underserved entrepreneurs launch and scale their businesses. This Program will provide funding to incubators, accelerators, and other eligible organizations across the country with expertise to support underserved entrepreneurs by providing training and other critical resources, tools, and technical assistance to access capital.
Jumpstarting the next generation of entrepreneurs is essential, not only to spurring innovation, but also to building a more resilient economy that’s reflective of all Americans. That’s why this competition seeks proposals from applicants who will:
- serve minority, women, and other underserved populations;
- help entrepreneurs build capacity;
- attract and provide access to capital opportunities;
- provide access to networks.
MBDA encourages organizations that have not traditionally focused their services to meet the needs of underserved communities to form strategic alliances with entities that serve those communities to apply for this funding opportunity.
MBDA plans to fund proposals for up to $3 million over four years per grantee. The Capital Readiness Program is intended to serve entrepreneurs and businesses that are applying, have applied, or plan to apply to Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) or other government programs that support small businesses.
The following are categories of organizations eligible to apply for this funding opportunity:
- Non-profit organizations;
- Private sector entities (defined as entities that are not public sector entities). This includes, for example, for-profit entities of any type, including sole-proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations, but does not include public sector entities such as Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Governments, agencies, or any of their instrumentalities;
- Institutions of higher education;
- A consortium of two or more of any of the above-mentioned eligible applicants. In a consortium application, there must be a designated lead applicant; the lead applicant would enter into the award agreement with MBDA and assume primary operational and financial responsibility for completing the project should an award be made.
APPLICATIONS ARE DUE ON FEBRUARY 28, 2023. Applicants must submit their applications for funding via grants.gov.
Applicants are also encouraged to submit an email of intent to apply by January 31, 2023. The NOFO includes a sample email of intent for reference.
MBDA has planned a series of webinars on January 10th, 17th, and 24th from 2:00 – 3:00 pm EST intended to help potential applicants understand the program requirements and application processes.
During this webinar, MBDA will provide general competition and funding opportunity information related to the Capital Readiness Program. MBDA will also discuss competition key dates and logistics. Participants will have an opportunity to participate in a live chat and ask questions.
Application Review Criteria
During this webinar, MBDA will provide an overview of the application review criteria that will be used to score applications for funding under the Capital Readiness Program. Participants will have an opportunity to participate in a live chat and ask questions.
Budget Best Practices and Pitfalls
MBDA will highlight best practices and pitfalls to avoid when developing the Capital Readiness Program budget and workplan. Participants will have an opportunity to participate in a live chat and ask questions.