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  • WBDC’s Equity Match Grant program reopens for new round of applications

    STAMFORD, Conn. — Applications are now being accepted for a new round of an innovative grant program administered by the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC). Since the program’s launch in 2020, WBDC’s Equity Match Grant program — which offers grants of up to $10,000 to qualified women-owned small businesses in Connecticut — has awarded grants to 129 businesses, totaling $1.2 million, and counting.

    The opening of the application window — May 23 through July 3 — marks the fifth round for the grant program. Recently, WBDC announced the grant recipients from round four, 30 in total. The round four recipients represent every corner of the state, and included businesses from cafes and boutiques to accounting firms and consultancies. A full list of Equity Match Grant recipients from round four is located here.

    “We are thrilled to once again extend the opportunity for our state’s women-owned businesses to benefit from a WBDC Equity Match Grant,” said WBDC Founder and CEO Fran Pastore. “We are continually learning that past recipients are making terrific use of these funds — growing their businesses, increasing revenue, creating jobs. We hope to see more and more success stories as this program grows.”

    The grant program originated from the generous contributions of a number of private funders and received a significant boost from the State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

    In addition to intangible impacts to the state’s small women-owned businesses, the Equity Match Grant program has yielded significant quantifiable results. According to a recent survey of previous Equity Match Grant recipients:

    • 60% of grant recipients increased revenues

    • 53% increased profits

    • 36% created jobs (85 net jobs across 36 companies)

    Those who received a grant in the first round (funded in November 2020) have had more time to see the impact of the grant on their businesses:

    • 82% of round 1 grant recipients increased revenues

    • 73% increased profits

    • 45% have created new jobs

    Additionally, according to the survey:

    • 49% report increased business productivity

    • 44% have increased their number of clients

    • 38% said they have increased confidence in applying for other funding opportunities

    • 27% report increased customer satisfaction.

    For businesses wishing to learn more about the Equity Match Grant program, information sessions will be held in May and June for businesses interested in applying. The sessions will include information on eligibility, what the grants can be used for, and the application process. After attending a live or pre-recorded information session, applicants can schedule a one-on-one session with a WBDC Business Advisor for additional guidance.

    For more information, please visit ctwbdc.org/equity-match-grant-program/.

    About the Women’s Business Development Council

    Since 1997, the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) has educated and trained more than 18,000 clients—helping women to launch and scale over 6,500 businesses, create, and maintain over 8,750 jobs in Connecticut, and access more than $24.9 million in capital. WBDC is the only agency in Connecticut reflective of the statewide demographic makeup offering comprehensive micro-enterprise training, with services ranging from financial education, entrepreneurial development, and access to capital programs.