SBA Awards $5 Million in PRIME Grants to Help Emerging Micro-entrepreneurs Gain Access to Capital

Entrepreneurs / 11th September 2017

Thirty-four community-based organizations across the United States that provide assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs are set to receive a combined $5 million in grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME).  These organizations help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital to establish and expand their small businesses.

This year’s 34 recipients come from 24 states and the District of Columbia.  The grants range from $55,000 to $250,000, and typically require at least 50 percent in matching funds or in-kind contributions.  In total, 147 organizations applied for PRIME awards for 2017.  

“One of my goals as Administrator is to revitalize the agency and raise its profile, and in turn, revitalize a spirit of entrepreneurship in America,” said Administrator Linda McMahon.  “Our aim at the SBA is to encourage entrepreneurship that helps build the confidence, skills and resources that entrepreneurs need to start or grow businesses, to invest in their communities, to create jobs, and to grow our economy.  I am proud to be part of an agency that provides assistance and support to organizations that help emerging entrepreneurs who lack sufficient training and education to gain access to capital to establish and expand their small businesses.”

The SBA placed special emphasis in this year’s competition on projects that will offer training and technical assistance to strengthen cooperative forms of business, particularly those that service economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs.  Six organizations received funding to specifically target cooperative small businesses. 

This year’s awards also emphasized organizations participating in the SBA’s Community Advantage Program.  This program provides mission-oriented, nonprofit lenders access to the SBA’s 7(a) loan guarantees to help small businesses that have outgrown microlending, but are not able to access more traditional financing including funding from SBA commercial lending partners.  Eight Community Advantage Lenders were selected for PRIME awards.   

PRIME was created by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999.  Grant funds will be made available on September 30, 2017, and the project period for each grant is one year.

For more information on the SBA’s PRIME grants and for a list of this year’s grantees, go online to www.sba.gov/content/prime-grantees.

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