Founders First CDC (Founders First), a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that empowers the expansion of diverse founder-led, revenue-generating businesses alongside TurningPoint Executive Search, is excited to remind small LGBTQ-led business owners there’s still time to apply for the inaugural National Pride Grant, a grant fund to support U.S. based LGBTQ small business owners, is open for pre-registration.

The LGBTQ National Grant allows eligible small businesses to receive one of 25 grants totaling $25,000. Founders First is committed to increasing the number of diverse founder-led companies generating over $1 million in revenue and creating premium-wage jobs. To be eligible, the company’s founder must identify as LGBTQ, have an active U.S.-based business, be the CEO, President, or owner, and employ between two and 50 employees. In addition, annual business revenue should be at most $5M. 

Registration began on May 6 and continues through June 6, the application deadline. Semi-finalists will be notified by June 18, with finalists being announced later in the month.

Since launching, Founders First CDC has awarded more than $620,000 to minority and underserved business owners throughout the United States.

“Receiving a grant through Founders First CDC was a turning point for my law firm,: said Daniel Hernandez, the CEO and Principal Attorney of NextLevel Law. With their support, I was able to participate in an accelerator course that provided me with essential business skills and transformed my mindset, enabling me to take on the role of CEO. The program culminated in a pitch contest that challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and I’m grateful for the experience.”

“Given the current state of our economy, small business owners are feeling the brunt of the rising cost of living, inflation, and the challenges to provide goods and services for their customers,” says Shaylon Scott, executive director of Founders First CDC. “This is our first year hosting the Pride Grant, and we are so excited. Our mission at Founders First is to support the needs of diverse communities.” 

Kim Folsom, founder, chairperson, and CEO of Founders First adds, “The LGBTQIA+ is one of many underserved and under-resourced groups we look to support through our small business grants and accelerator programs. By providing recognition and representation, this grant also brings inspiration to other LGBTQ+ business owners.”

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses in the United States alone. Of this group, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) estimated in 2017 that its 900+ members have created 33,000 jobs and have contributed $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy.

“LGBTQ-owned small businesses are essential for a thriving LGBTQ+ community and an inclusive economy,: Scott adds. “These businesses create local jobs and provide needed goods and services. U.S.-based LGBTQ+ businesses can apply for the National Pride Grant. Twenty-five businesses will receive $1,000 each, and they can use those funds for anything to support their business, whether it’s marketing, technology, or something else to support their business growth.”

For more information and to register, go to this link:

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