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Equity Match Grant Program

Equity Match Grant Program

The Women’s Business Development Council is offering grants of up to $10,000 to qualified small business owners


The Women’s Business Development Council is offering grants of up to $10,000 to qualified women-owned small businesses in Connecticut

The Equity Match Grant Program is designed to help women-owned businesses grow! Grants between $2,500 and $10,000 will be awarded for clearly defined projects that will have a measurable impact on the business, its growth and profitability. The grant funds cannot be used towards operating expenses, payroll, or real estate improvements​. Applicants are required to provide a minimum 25% match (see below for more details).

NOW ACCEPTING GRANT APPLICATIONS UNTIL SEPTEMBER 28TH, 2021

 

We will only accept applications through the online submission portal between
September 7th and September 28th. Emailed applications will not be accepted.

This is a competitive process and WBDC will not be able to fund all strong applicants.

Learn About the Equity Match Grant

Click on the tabs for more information

  • Must be 51% or more female-owned  
  • The business has been established for at least two years before September 28th, 2021 (business must have been established by September 28th, 2019) with a record of sales
  • The business must be headquartered in CT,  registered in the state of CT and owned by a CT resident 
  • The business is in good standing with the CT Department of Revenue Services (DRS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 
  • The business must have an established business checking account 
  • The business must utilize a formal, digital bookkeeping/financial system such as QuickBooks Online 
  • The business must have a record of annual sales/revenue in last twelve months greater than $25,000 
  • The business is a for profit business.  Non-profits that derive 75% or more of the organization’s revenue from a social enterprise are eligible to apply.
  • The business must be owned by a woman at least 18 years old

    Additionally, the following businesses are not eligible  

    Childcare businesses are not eligible for the Equity Match Grant. If your business is in the childcare industry, WBDC has other programs for childcare businesses. We encourage you to reach out to us at childcarebusiness@ctwbdc.org or
    (203) 751-9550 x129 to learn more.
    If you or your business have already received a grant from WBDC in the last two years you are not eligible.
    Medical marijuana; liquor stores and alcohol distributors; adult businesses such as strip clubs; vape retailers; tobacco shops and smoking lounges; businesses having to do with gambling; gun stores and ranges; cash advance, check cashing, or pawn shops; bail bonds; collection agencies or services; and auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of-business” or similar sale 

    Applicants are required to provide a minimum 25% match 

    • For example, if the business receives a $10,000 grant for the purchase of new software, the business must have invested $2,500 in their business over the past 12 months OR be able to invest an incremental $2,500 of their own funds in that purchase
    • Grants cannot be used to reimburse past purchases or investments in the business.
    • Businesses in distressed economic communities (as defined by DECD) do not need to provide the 25% match. 

    We encourage all interested applicants to attend an information session to understand what is required for the application and to help prepare your application in advance. Information sessions have been held in July, August and September.

    Sessions will cover eligibility requirements, what the grant can be used for, the application process and timeline. Additionally, we will share the application questions and the required supporting documentation. There will also be time for Q&A at the end of each session.

    Register below for the remaining Information Sessions:

    Tuesday, September 14th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

    *If you cannot attend a live session, you can access a recorded session here along with the corresponding slide deck

    WBDC Business Advisors are available to help answer your questions after you have attended a live or on-demand information session. Please email microgrants@ctwbdc.org to schedule an appointment. 

    *Please note*

    • Advising sessions for the Equity Match Grant are limited, and will be scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    • If you review your application with a business advisor, it does not mean you will receive a grant, as an external review committee is making the decisions on which applicants receive grants.
    • Once your application is submitted you will not be able to review your application with an advisor, or make any changes. All submissions are final.

    Prepare Your Application 

    Click on the tabs for more information

    There are four sections of the application. For sections A and B you will be required to provide a detailed picture of your business. You will also be required to create a profile to provide general information about you and your business. 

    Section A: Narrative of your business  
    Section B: How you would use the grant  
    Section C: Supporting documents for uploading  
    Section D: Compliance and consent 

    Click here to preview the application questions or access the live application here

    • Thoughtful, complete, and well-developed picture of your business that shows a path to growth
      Exceptionally clear use of funds, with a strong link to growth, focused, strong supporting detail
    • Historical financials are thorough, detailed, and thoughtful
    • Financial Projections are robust and reflects seasonality of business in projections where all numbers make sense
    • Display the business’ long-term potential, with strong growth and strong potential for continued growth
    • Job creation potential, with the business being on track to adding more jobs
    • Return on investment, that the funds will unlock growth
    • Grant will have a meaningful impact on the business and help the business grow and scale  

    Additional Resources

    Click on the tabs for more information

    We have provided optional templates for you to use for your historical and financal documents

    Click to download Historical Financials Template
    Click to download Financial Projections Template

    Please use the links below to obtain your letter:

    For Sole Proprietors, or Single Member LLC’s without a Tax ID #: https://drsindtax.ct.gov/AUT/welcomeindividual.aspx

    For businesses with a Tax ID #:
    https://drsbustax.ct.gov/AUT/welcomebusiness.aspx
    Should you run into any issues accessing the document online you might be directed to mail a paper request (TPG 170 Form). Do not mail the form as the DRS offices are operating virtually. Please fax it to 860-541-7557. Once faxed to DRS, the PDF will be emailed to back to you. If you have any other issues you can reach out to DRS directly at 860-297-5962.

    Click here for an example of what your Letter of Good Standing should look like.

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