Founders First CDC, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that empowers
expansion in diverse founder-led, revenue-generating businesses, announced the second wave of its new Job Creators Quest Grant which will award $100,000 to support minority and underrepresented business owners throughout the state of Texas.
The grant opened for submission today and will remain open through July 25, 2022. Thirty grants will be awarded to diverse-led companies located in the north, central east or south Texas regions, with a current staff of 2-20 employees and the ability to add 1-2 net new premium wage jobs in the next 12 months. To be eligible, the company’s founder must be Black, indigenous, a person of color, LGBTQIA+, military veteran, a woman or located in a low to moderate income area and be a for-profit company with annual revenues between $100,000 to $3 million.
The purpose of the Job Creators Quest Grant is to help business owners create premium wage jobs and reward diverse-led businesses throughout the state of Texas to retain and grow their workforce as we emerge from the pandemic and amid threats of an economic recession. This will help to positively impact the local economy, create job opportunities with higher wages and provide the human capital needed for businesses to grow and expand. This grant project was launched in early 2021.
Since launching, Founders First CDC has awarded more than $400,000 to minority and underserved business owners throughout the United States with a focus on Texas, Chicago, Southern California, Philadelphia and New Jersey.
“With the rising cost of living, it can be challenging for families let alone business owners to stay afloat, particularly when it costs them more to provide goods and services for their consumers,” said Shaylon Scott, executive director of Founders First. “We are happy to be able to invest money and resources in hard working business owners throughout Texas to help them thrive, even during uncertain economic times. Investing in diverse entrepreneurs is not only an impactful way to create jobs but is a pivotal way to close the general wealth gap in underserved communities.”
Funding for this program was facilitated by a $1 million national grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and in conjunction with Founders First Capital Partners’ recent $9 million Series A financing accelerator to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in underserved communities across the country. Additional national and regional partners include ADP, Black Enterprise, JP Morgan Chase, The Kauffman Foundation, African American Chamber of San Antonio, Bank OZK, BCL of Texas, Dallas BUILD Network, Divinc, Dallas Fort Worth MSDC, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sesh Coworking, Impact
Ventures, ICIC, Houston Hispanic Network, Lift Fund, PeopleFund, Margin Institute, Mogul Millennial, The Common Desk, The DEC, The Mass Challenge, INNW, Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center, Women’s Business Council and Wisdom Consulting.
Receiving the grant money was vital to the recipients as it helped them grow their businesses in a myriad of ways. “When we signed up for the Founders First Texas Job Creators Quest Grant, we thought it was just going to be a basic grant for creating quality jobs in Texas, but it turned out to be much, much more. The Founder’s First accelerator course was packed with incredible information that we immediately put to use to grow our business. Plus, once you’re a part of the Founder’s First cohort, you’re really part of a big family. Every interaction I’ve had with Founder’s First members and staff has been extremely positive. And like any family, we have each other’s backs when it comes to growing our relationships, referring leads to each other, and supporting one another,” said Liz D’Aloia, COO of Koder Labs, a 2021 Grant Recipient and Bootcamp program graduate.
Qualified business owners, particularly those in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio markets visit https://foundersfirstcdc.org/texas.
To apply for the business accelerator program, visit https://foundersfirstcdc.org/programs/