BIPOC Small Business Accelerator

Program Overview

PeopleFund is launching access to capital-oriented cohorts for BIPOC-owned businesses in underserved areas around Texas. The goal of this program is to accelerate early-stage entrepreneurs with capital, education, and ongoing technical assistance in order to support healthy small business growth in communities that need it most.

The program requires that entrepreneurs commit to an orientation, a series of virtual training sessions, and “homework” assigned in between training sessions over the course of 3 months. Program participants will 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 for a loan up to $50,000 with PeopleFund will receive a grant of up to 10% of the loan amount to be used for equity injection or business purposes.

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]

Program Purpose

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-owned (BIPOC) small businesses have taken a bigger hit than most as the pandemic persists. Business survival among BIPOC-owned businesses fell by ~36% since March of 2020 and continues to decline. 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 Outcomes

  • At least 85% of participants in the program will complete (“graduate”) the program.
  • 75% of participants in the program will be approved for a Microloan.

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 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 and Fund Development at [email protected] for more information.


Applications are currently closed. Please check back in May for next quarter’s BIPOC Small Business Accelerator application.