BIPOC Small Business Accelerator

Program Overview

PeopleFund’s BIPOC Small Business Accelerator provides entrepreneurs of color with the capital, education, and resources needed to support healthy business growth. BIPOC refers to Black, Indigenous, People of Color, which includes anyone who identifies as Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaskan Native, Desi, Asian, or Pacific Islander.

Program participants commit to an orientation, a series of virtual training sessions, and “homework” assigned in between training sessions over the course of 3 months. Participants also receive access to technology and tools including LivePlan business planning software and an online curriculum for a period of 12 months from the program orientation, expedited loan packaging and application support, and ongoing after-care provided by PeopleFund and our partners. Graduates of the program who apply and are approved receive a loan up to $50,000 and a grant of up to 10% of the loan amount to be used for equity injection or business purposes.

Program Purpose

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-owned (BIPOC) small businesses were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and took a bigger hit than most. Business survival among BIPOC-owned businesses fell by about 36% in the months after March 2020. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we support BIPOC entrepreneurs by increasing opportunities in our communities for healthy small business growth. By doing so, we ensure we are working towards dismantling economic and social systemic inequities through strengthening and empowering communities of color.

Program Goals

  • Increase access to capital for BIPOC-owned businesses.
  • Improve the credit profile of early-stage entrepreneurs.
  • Improve the business acumen of early-stage entrepreneurs.

Program Benefits

Participants that successfully complete the training will have access to:

  • A loan for up to $50,000 (dependent on approval)
  • A grant for up to 10% of the loan amount (dependent on approval and to be used for specified purposes)
  • Connections to business and professional resources in the community
  • Completion of a business plan, financial statements, and capital portfolio
  • Access to tools and technology including LivePlan business planning software and the Verizon Digital Ready Program (for 12 months)
  • Curriculum guide within an online learning platform
  • Ongoing support and aftercare through dedicated business coaching and mentorship
  • Networking opportunities within the cohort

Program Eligibility

To qualify for the BIPOC Small Business Accelerator, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Must self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) – which includes anyone who identifies as Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaskan Native, Desi, Asian or Pacific Islander
  • Must be located in the target region of the program iteration- click BIPOC Quarter 1 2023 Counties List to view the counties served
  • At least 6 months of operating revenues (no pre-revenue businesses will be accepted)
  • Must be able to support a loan payment through available global cash flow
  • Must meet credit and lending qualifications
  • No bankruptcies within last 5 years
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Not currently in active litigation
  • Not currently past due on federal obligations or are on a recovery plan
  • Not currently past due on credit obligations or are on a recovery plan
  • Total collections, derogatory marks, and past due items cannot exceed 10% of the total loan amount
  • Not involved in felony-level criminal activity, crimes of moral turpitude, or financial
  • Not engaged in any of the following industries: adult entertainment, gambling or gaming, real estate investments or housing projects, passive activity (rental), anything federally illegal, multi-level marketing, and nonprofit activities

Ready to submit your application? Submit your application by Friday, December 16, 2022


Program Partners

This program is made possible through partnerships with business support, education, and technical assistance-based organizations in the Community. Interested in partnering on a future cohort? Contact Amy East, Manager of Philanthropic Partnerships & Fund Development, at [email protected] for more information.

Program Sponsors

The BIPOC Small Business Accelerator is made possible by a generous seed grant from Truist Financial Corporation, along with a co-investment from Austin Community Foundation.

Additional support was provided by our generous donors:


If you would like to become a sponsor of this program, please contact Jenny Palecek at [email protected]