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Promise Zones Update: Funding Opportunities - Assets for Independence Demonstration Program | SBA Growth Accelerator Fund

Funding Opportunities

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assets for Independence Demonstration Program

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Community Services (OCS) is seeking application for the Assets for Independence (AFI) demonstration program.

AFI enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement and demonstrate an assets-based approach for supporting low-income individuals and their families. AFI grantees enroll participants to save earned income in special-purpose, matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Every dollar that a participant deposits into an AFI IDA is matched (from $1 to $8 in combined federal and non-federal funds) by the AFI project, promoting savings and enabling participants to acquire a lasting asset.

AFI participants use their IDAs and matching funds for one of three allowable assets:

  • Purchase a first home;
  • Capitalize or expand a business for self-employment; or
  • Fund post-secondary education or training.

AFI grantees also assist participants in obtaining the skills and information necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Grantees are encouraged to tailor the strategies and services they offer to the needs of their project participants and the opportunities in their community.

Application Deadline: June 15, 2015

View information about resources, trainings, and other assistance for grantees and potential applicants is posted on the AFI Resource Center website.

View the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

SBA Launches Second Growth Accelerator Fund Competition to Award $4 Million for Small Business Startups

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is launching an Accelerator Growth Fund competition for accelerators and other entrepreneurial ecosystem models to compete for monetary prizes of $50,000 each, totaling $4 million.

Application Period: April 10 - June 1, 2015

Information about the application process can be found on the SBA web page.

Similar to last year’s competition, several panels containing expert judges from the private and public sector with collective experience in early stage investing, entrepreneurship, academia, start-ups, and economic development will select the winners. The competition includes accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, shared tinker-spaces, or other models. The panel will give particular attention to applicants that fill geographic gaps in the accelerator and entrepreneurial ecosystem space.

Through this competition, the SBA is looking to support the development of accelerators and their support of startups in parts of the country where there are fewer conventional sources of access to capital (i.e., venture capital and other investors).

In addition, the SBA is also seeking accelerators headed by women and those that support them or other underrepresented groups. Thirty-two percent of last year’s accelerator winners were run by women and 14 percent were classified as underrepresented groups.

Manufacturing accelerator models will be given special consideration during this year’s competition, because they are critical to job growth and strengthening the nation’s economy.

View the Accelerator Growth Fact Sheet and specifics on how to apply, and the timeline for 2015’s competition. For questions or comments, please contact accelerators@sba.gov.

Entities located in Promise Zones are encouraged to apply, although not specifically eligible for preference points as part of the Promise Zone.

Second Round Promise Zones Competition

Thank you for your interest in this year’s Promise Zones competition.

The next round of Promise Zones designations are expected to be announced in Spring 2015.

More information is available on the Promise Zones web page.

To receive updates and funding opportunity announcements, please subscribe to our Promise Zones mailing list.

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