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Funding Opportunities

  1. Economic Development
  2. Entrepreneurship

City Hall

144 Tichenor Ave, Suite 2

  1. Email: [email protected]
  2. Phone: (334) 501-7270
  3. Hours:  M-F: 8AM-5PM

Caitlin Myers

Entrepreneurial & Technology Programs Manager

  1. Phone: (334) 501-7377
  2. Email: [email protected]

There are many different funding opportunities and resources for startups and small businesses. We have compiled a list of various programs that you might find helpful when searching for and evaluating your financial options.

City of Auburn

General Competitions

Other Financial Assistance

Grants

There are Alabama organizations that offer training and assistance for grant writing and fundraising. Some resources are membership-based, while others offer free assistance.

  • FedEx Small Business Grant Contest: $50,000 award. Applications due Feb.28
  • Grants.gov: Database of federal grants
  • Hello Alice: Features various grants
  • IdeaCafe Grant: Micro-grant award of $1,000 to one business each year. Due in January.
  • KKR Grants & Small Business Builders: grants for Communities, Opportunities and Heroes; $10,000 grants and mentoring to help owners sustain their businesses, maintain and create jobs, and spur economic opportunity during COVID-19.
  • National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants: Awarded to NASE members who can demonstrate a specific need for the money. Multiple prizes of $4,000 each. (A basic NASE membership costs $120 per year and includes networking, mentorship, discounts on business products and legislative advocacy.) Applications due quarterly.
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): supports scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds to small businesses that are engaged in research and development and have commercial potential. Grants start at $150,000 and can reach over $1 million.
  • Visa Everywhere Initiative: For startups and fintech companies to solve payment and commerce challenges of the future. Prizes range from $10,000 to $50,000. Applications close: March 31

For Women-Owned Businesses

  • 37 Angels: Angel investment group that invests $50,000 to $200,000 into each company.
  • Amber Grant: A small business grant for women business owners created in honor of a young woman who died before she could fulfill her entrepreneurial dreams. The program awards one $10,000 grant to a woman business owner each month. One winner will also be awarded an additional $25,000 at the end of the year. Next application due: 3/31/22
  • Association of Women's Business Centers: Works to secure entrepreneurial opportunities for women by supporting and sustaining a national network of more than 100 Women’s Business Centers that provide training, mentoring, business development, and financing opportunities to over 150,000 women entrepreneurs each year.
  • Cartier Women's Initiative Award: Awarded to 18 female entrepreneurs around the world each year. All 18 finalists will receive either a first prize of $100,000 and one-on-one mentoring or a second prize of $30,000 in prize money. There are two awards: Science & Technology Pioneer and Regional. Due July 14.
  • Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program: Small business grants for businesses making positive social and environmental impacts. Awarding $200,000 in total grants annually to nonprofits (maximum $40,000 per recipient).
  • Female Founders Fund: Invests in business-to-business (B2B), consumer, fintech, and health care businesses that have at least one female founding member, and they primarily focus on investing in seed-stage businesses. Open to reviewing pitches from businesses in a variety of industries, and occasionally even before those businesses are ready for a formal funding round. They average between six to eight investments per year, with investments ranging from $500,000 to $750,000.
  • GrantsforWomen.org: Database of opportunities for women across industries.
  • Halstead Grant: For women entrepreneurs in the jewelry industry. A cash grant of $7,500 plus $1,000 toward Halstead jewelry supplies. Due 8/1/22
  • IFundWomen: Funding marketplace for women-owned businesses with access to small business grants from corporate partners, online fundraising, coaching and connections.
  • KKR Small Business Builders: $10,000 grants and mentoring to help owners sustain their businesses, maintain and create jobs, and spur economic opportunity.
  • Office of Minority Business Enterprise: Resource for small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses.
  • Open Meadows Foundation: Women-backed projects that promote gender, racial and economic justice. $2,000 to eligible projects that have limited access to financial resources.
  • Opportunity Fund: Microloans to underserved small businesses, particularly those owned by low- and moderate-income immigrants, people of color, and women.
  • Red Backpack Fund: In response to the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, fund is donating at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female-identified entrepreneurs in the U.S. whose businesses have been impacted by the health crisis.
  • Visa Everywhere Initiative Women's Global Edition: A competition for startups and fintech companies to solve payment and commerce challenges of the future. Grants two winners $100,000 each.

For Minority-Owned Businesses

  • Accion: Fairly priced, flexible loans; advising; workshops; and online resources.
  • Antares REACH Grant Program: $20,000 grants for next stage of business growth (Due 7/15/22)
  • Black Girl Ventures: Competition for black/brown woman-identifying founders.
  • Camino Financial: Loans to small businesses to catalyze economic growth in low-to-moderate income communities. Up to $400,000 with low interest rates.
  • Coalition to Back Black Businesses Fund: Grants for those impacted by Covid-19.
  • IFundWomen of Color: Help diverse, early-stage entrepreneurs bring their dreams into reality through raising capital via crowdfunding and providing grants, coaching, and the connections needed to launch and grow successful businesses.
  • Kapor Capital: Focusing on African American and Latino communities that have lack of funding, this organization offers to help tech companies in the seed stage who are looking to close gaps in their local community.
  • Kiva: Crowdfunds loans up to $10,000 with 0% interest for borrowers who are either financially excluded or creating social impact in their communities.
  • Minority Business Development Agency: Access to expert assistance on securing financing, grants and other business essentials.
  • NAACP Backing the B.A.R.: For Black business owners with a liquor license. Grants of $10,000.
  • National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge: Competition with prizes up to $50,000. Membership required.
  • New Voices Fund: $100M fund designed to level the playing field, provides women of color entrepreneurs with unprecedented access, capital, and expertise they need to excel.
  • Office of Minority Business Enterprise: Resource for small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses.
  • Opportunity Fund: Microloans to underserved small businesses, particularly those owned by low- and moderate-income immigrants, people of color, and women.
  • Sage and The BOSS Network: $10,000 grant to black women entrepreneurs
  • SoGal Foundation Black Founder Startup Grant: Grants of $5,000 and $10,000 to Black female/nonbinary entrepreneurs.

For College Students / Faculty / Recent Graduates

For Veterans

For High School Students

Crowdfunding

Venture Capital

Non-Traditional Lender

CDFI (Community-Based Lender)