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Announcing Grow: a new $200,000 program supporting minority-led small businesses

Could your business use some extra cash? We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Grow – a new $200,000 program to support the continued growth of underrepresented small companies.

Starting now through May 2022, we’ll give awards of up to $15,000 to eligible US minority-led small businesses each month. The goal is to help these business owners do what they do best — run their businesses their way — while building the equity crucial to achieving stability and growth.

“Many barriers have disproportionately impacted minority-led businesses. We’re thrilled to provide the financial support and technology to help them scale and thrive.”
-Mark Lenhard, Invoice2go CEO

Grow will also give businesses access to the greater Invoice2go community — 50% of whom identify as women and/or BIPOC —  for support and insight. 

We have excellent resources for those looking to get Minority Business Enterprise Certification, LGBT-Owned Business Certification, or apply for a grant. In the coming months, we will host workshops with industry experts on staying organized, winning new business, simplifying finances, saving time – and so much more.

It’s our mission at Invoice2go to amplify the independent spirit of all business owners. Here are the essential details you need to know about Grow.

Why Grow exists

Small businesses drive job creation and form the foundation of the US economy. The Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates that small businesses accounted for more than 60% of new jobs created in the past 30 years.

Starting a new business can be a challenge for anyone – entrepreneurs of all backgrounds face countless struggles. Some of the most common include:

  • Difficulties in getting capital to start and grow
  • A lack of access to education to gain the skills to lead a successful business
  • Insufficient business support networks

There is substantial evidence that minority-led businesses are far more likely to run into these challenges. For example, minority- and women-headed households generally have lower levels of wealth, resulting in more significant challenges in getting loans or outside investment. Other barriers can be lower average credit scores, less formal education, geographic or societal isolation – and persistent discrimination. 

On top of this, minority-led businesses have been affected disproportionately by the pandemic. Minority-owned businesses were hit harder over the last year and a half and now face a slower recovery. This disparity is a lost opportunity for the US economy as a whole.

Nevertheless, entrepreneurship can open doors and provide unique opportunities to empower business owners with more income, independence, and economic mobility – especially women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and those with a disability. These businesses can also strengthen the community by creating employment and adding resources to the local economy.

Community-based entrepreneurship and small business ownership are crucial to promoting wealth and prosperity. Therefore, Grow exists to help close the wealth gap in entrepreneurship and promote continued economic dynamism and economic growth for all its members. 

Here’s everything you need to know to apply to Grow:

Grow starts on October 18, 2021, and continues to May 6, 2022! Awards of up to $15,000 will be selected each month for a total of twenty awards.

The following dates will be considered deadlines for application submissions to be considered for the following month’s award:

  • Friday, November 12, 2021, at 11:59 pm PST
  • Friday, December 31, 2021, at 11:59 pm PST
  • Friday, February 11, 2022, at 11:59 pm PST
  • Thursday, March 25, 2022, at 11:59 pm PST
  • Friday, May 6, 2022, at 11:59 pm PST

If you miss a deadline, no worries! Submit your application to be included in the next month’s review process. If your application isn’t chosen for an award in one round, it will stay in the running until Grow ends on May 6, 2022.

There are 3 big reasons why applying to Grow is a great idea

  1. Small business owners of underrepresented groups can receive up to $15,000 for their continued growth. 
  2. You’ll have the opportunity to join the greater Invoice2go community of business owners – 50% of women identify as women of BIPOC – for incredible support and expert insight.
  3. Get exclusive access to workshops with industry leaders on how to scale your business, deepen customer relationships, build your brand, simplify your operations, and so much more. 

To be considered for Grow, your businesses must meet the following criteria

  1. Your business must be majority-owned, operated, and controlled by at least one US resident 18 years or older. 
  2. The business owner must also identify as one or more of the following: Asian-Indian, Asia-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, Native American or Alaska Native, Arab or Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, or as a person with a disability. 
  3. The business must be less than five years old, have no more than ten employees, and have annual revenue of no more than $1,000,000 per year. Single-person organizations are eligible with proof of establishment as a business or freelancer.

How to win 

  1. Apply now by completing the form with your name, email, and photo. If you win, we’ll highlight your entry!
  2. In 200 words or less, explain your business and how winning would support your business and community.
  3. Opt in to our newsletter and join our social communities to stay up to date! Post to social with the hashtag #invoice2grow to let us know about the incredible work your business is doing.

What are you waiting for? Let’s Grow.

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