Small Business Administration: Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME)
The Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999 (the PRIME Act) authorizes the SBA Administrator to establish a program for the purposes of:
- Providing training and technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs
- Providing training and capacity building assistance to microenterprise development organizations (MDOs) and programs
- Aiding in research and development of best practices for microenterprise and technical assistance programs for disadvantaged entrepreneurs
- And for other activities as the SBA Administrator determines
Applicants may apply to conduct activities under one of the following funding tracks:
- Track 1 (Technical Assistance): SBA seeks applications for funding to provide training and technical assistance programs to disadvantaged entrepreneurs including training specifically designed to: (1) strengthen the capacity of cooperatives serving economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs and areas; and (2) to support entrepreneurship among ex-offenders in the criminal justice system, especially those on parole, probation or incarcerated persons soon to be released.
- Track 2 (Capacity Building): SBA seeks applications for funding to provide training and capacity building services to MDOs, microenterprise development programs, and groups of such organizations to assist them in developing microenterprise training and services, including services geared towards building MDO capacity to provide business training and technical assistance to: (1) cooperatives serving economically disadvantaged areas; and (2) to support entrepreneurship among ex-offenders in the criminal justice system, especially those on parole, probation or incarcerated individuals soon to be released.
Amount: Approximately $5,000,000 is available to support 35 awards. Track 1 awards will range between $50,000-$150,000 and Track 2 awards will range between $50,000-$250,000. A 50% match is required. An applicant with severe constraints on available sources of matching funds may request a reduction or elimination of the matching requirement.
Eligibility: Applicants must be one of the following:
- A microenterprise development organization or program (or group or Collaborative thereof), such as a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) or similar entity, that has a demonstrated record of delivering microenterprise services to disadvantaged entrepreneurs; or
- An intermediary which has experience in delivering technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs; or
- A microenterprise development organization or program that is accountable to a local community, working in conjunction with a State or local government or Indian Tribe; or
- An Indian tribe acting on its own, if it can certify that no private organization or program referred to above exists within its jurisdiction.
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