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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 (e.g. inventory, on-going marketing expenses, salaries), real estate improvements (e.g. construction costs), reimbursement for past purchases or debt repayment.

Applicants are required to provide a minimum 25% match (see below for more details).

THE GRANT APPLICATION IS NOW OPEN!
The deadline to apply is July 3, 2022

This is a competitive process and WBDC may not be able to fund all applicants. We encourage you to participate in one of our information sessions and schedule an appointment with a WBDC business advisor for additional assistance.

Learn about the Equity Match Grant

Eligibility

To be eligible, the business must:

– Be 51% or more woman-owned
– Be headquartered in CT, registered in the state of CT and owned by a CT resident
– Have been in business for at least two years before July 3, 2022 (business must have been established by July 3, 2020) with a record of sales
– Have a record of annual sales/revenue in last twelve months greater than $25,000 and less than $2,000,000
– Be in good standing with the CT Department of Revenue Services (DRS)
– Have an established business bank account
– Currently utilize a formal, digital bookkeeping/financial system (e.g. QuickBooks, Sage, FreshBooks, Wave Accounting)
Be a for profit business, or a non-profit that derives 75% or more of the organization’s revenue from a social enterprise
– 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 you. We encourage you to visit our Child Care Business Funding page to learn more or reach out to us at childcarebusiness@ctwbdc.org
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

Match Requirement

– 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.

Sign up for an information session

One-hour informational webinars will be held in May and June to enable applicants to prepare their applications in advance of the submission period.  Sign up for the webinar that best meets your schedule using the links below. The content will be the same for all webinars. You only need to attend one session, though you are welcome to attend as many as you would like.

Click to register for an upcoming information session below!

Thursday, May 26th @ 10am-11am
Thursday, June 2nd @ 5:30pm – 6:30 pm
Monday, June 6th @ 5:30pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesday, June 8th @ 10am – 11am
Tuesday, June 14th @12pm – 1pm
Thursday, June 16th @ 10am – 11am
Wednesday, June 22nd @ 12pm – 1pm
Monday, June 27th @5:30 – 6:30pm

Meet with an advisor

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

*Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of experts from the community.  WBDC Business Advisors will not be making the decisions on who receives grants.

How to Prepare

Application Questions

There are four sections to the application:

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

Click here to download the application questions

What the review committee is looking for

– Thoughtful, complete, and well-developed picture of your business that shows a path to growth.
– Exceptionally clear use of funds, with a direct link to growth, focused, strong supporting detail.
– 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 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

*Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of experts from the community. WBDC Business Advisors will not be making the decisions on who receives grants.

Financial Template

Click here to download the projections template.

This template is provided as a guide by the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC). Applicants are welcome to use this template or their own format if they prefer. 

How to obtain a letter of good standing

Please request your letter from the CT DRS myconneCT online center: 𝗺𝘆𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗖𝗧 (ct.gov)

Here is a tutorial to on how to request the status letter: Requesting a Status Letter (of Good Standing) (ct.gov)

Click here to see an example of what your status letter should like. Please note that if it does not look like this – it is the wrong document.

Our Impact

Learn about the impact of the Equity Match Grant and how it has helped some of our amazing recipients! WBDC has awarded 129 Equity Match Grants distributing $1.2 million to women-owned businesses across the state.

Meet Some of Our Equity Match Grant Recipients!

Anchor & Compass

Anchor & Compass

Deep River, CT

Read Sage’s story

Creative ME, LLC

Creative ME, LLC

New Haven, CT

Read Mechele’s story

Balanced Bee-ing

Balanced Bee-ing

Stamford, CT

Read Aimee’s story

The Family Pizza Truck

The Family Pizza Truck

Southington, CT

Read Angela’s story

Trailing Twine Photography

Trailing Twine Photography

Pomfret, CT

Read Ling’s story

Nala's Kitchen

Nala's Kitchen

Wallingford, CT

Read Rebeca’s story

Illumina Skin Care Massage

Illumina Skin Care Massage

Guilford, CT

Read Lillian’s story

Ivy's Simply Homemade

Ivy's Simply Homemade

Waterford, CT

Read Ivy’s story

Trade Labels

Trade Labels

Mystic, CT

Read Lynns’s story

Koko Floral Design

Koko Floral Design

Guilford, CT

Read Koko’s story

Unbakeables

Unbakeables

Weston, CT

Read Corey’s story

Thank You to Our Outstanding Donors!

CHAMPION ($300,000 +)
Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
LEADER ($100,000+)
Bank of America
NationSwell
Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation
Webster Bank
PARTNER ($50,000 +)
M&T Bank
People’s United Bank
TD Bank
Tudor Foundation
ADVOCATE ($25,000 +)
Bankwell
BNY Mellon
Chelsea Groton Bank
Fairfield County Bank
Fieldpoint Private
Guilford Savings Bank
Key Bank
Liberty Bank
Northwest Community Bank
The Milford Bank
Thomaston Savings Bank
Torrington Savings Bank
Travelers
Union Savings Bank
Anonymous
FRIEND (Up to $10,000)
Connecticut Community Bank
Dime Bank
DR Bank
Eastern Connecticut Savings Bank
Essex Savings Bank
First County Bank
First Bank of Greenwich
Ion Bank Foundation
Newtown Savings Bank
Patriot Bank
Salisbury Bank
Savings Bank of Danbury