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WBDC Launches Rebranded Equity Match Grant Program with Statewide Road Show

WBDC Launches Rebranded Equity Match Grant Program with Statewide Road Show

WBDC’s Equity Match Grant Program is now known as Ignite, a title that better describes the program’s objective — to ignite growth in Connecticut's women-owned small businesses.

STAMFORD, Conn. — The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) is proud to announce the launch of “Ignite,” a bold rebranding of its Equity Match Grant (EMG) Program. This vibrant new name reflects the program’s core objective — to ignite the growth and success of women-owned businesses across Connecticut. The newly renamed and rebranded program was officially introduced through a road show where WBDC visited nine women-owned businesses in seven Connecticut communities — each a recent grant recipient.

WBDC launched the Equity Match Grant in 2020, and in three years, the program has given a boost to nearly 300 women-owned businesses in Connecticut.

“Since 2020, the Equity Match Grant Program has provided crucial fuel to hundreds of women-owned businesses,” said WBDC CEO Fran Pastore. “With the Ignite rebrand, we are reaffirming our commitment to empowering these businesses to reach their full potential and spark new opportunity in Connecticut’s economy.”

Ignite’s three-day road show visited recent grant recipients in various locations across the state, showcasing the program’s impact and celebrating the inspiring stories of women who have harnessed the power of Ignite to propel their businesses forward.

Specifically, since 2020, more than $2.5 million in grants have been awarded to 276 businesses in every county of Connecticut. For grant recipients who received funding at least 12 months ago:

The current application period opened on February 1 and runs through March 14, 2024. Information sessions and additional details about the application process will be announced soon.

Ignite Road Show Stops

Dinamica – 1120 AM Radio – Hartford
Recipient: Lenny Rosario

Bloom Bake Shop – Hartford
Recipient: Alexandra Pilon

ITS the Room –  Milford
Recipient: Tia Woods

Tina Perma Beauty – Old Saybrook
Recipient: Thuan Huynh

Popover Eatery – Mystic
Recipients: Pamela Paydos and Sara Allan

Plantidote Foods – Norwalk
Recipient: Danielle Lutsky

Made Floral – Norwalk
Recipient: Martha Deflorio

Dulce de Leche – Stratford
Recipient: Maria Estrade and Elda Santos

A Soft Idea – Bridgeport
Recipient: Claudia Vargish

About Ignite

Formerly known as the Equity Match Grant, Ignite is designed to help women-owned businesses grow. The program makes available grants of between $2,500 and $10,000 to be awarded for clearly defined projects that will have a measurable impact on the business, its growth, and profitability.

For more information and eligibility criteria, visit ctwbdc.org/ignite.

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz with Claudia Vargish of A Soft Idea.


Tina Perma Beauty

Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna and Director of Economic Development Jennifer Donahue with Thuan Huynh of Tina Perma Beauty.

Stonington First Selectwoman Danielle Chesebrough with Pamela Paydos and Sara Allan of Popover Eatery.