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PeopleFund Receives SBA Prime Grant for Technical Assistance Programs

SBA Awards $5 Million in PRIME Grants

SBA funds PeopleFund with $75,000 to Finance Training & Technical Assistance to Disadvantaged Entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON – Thirty-seven community-based organizations across the United States that provide assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs are set to receive $5 million in grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME).  These organizations help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital to establish and expand their small businesses.

“By training low-income and disadvantaged micro-entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses, the PRIME Program provides tremendous opportunity to strengthen and revitalize communities,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “I am proud that this year’s PRIME program provides entrepreneurship pathways to individuals who have struggled to find employment after incarceration and helps them rebuild families and whole communities. PRIME complements the nearly $160 million approved this year through SBA’s mission-based lending programs.”

This year’s 37 recipients come from 24 states, and the District of Columbia. The grants range from $75,000 to $230,000 and typically require at least 50 percent in matching funds or in-kind contributions.  In total, 135 organizations applied for PRIME awards.

SBA placed special emphasis in this year’s competition on projects that will offer training and technical assistance to strengthen cooperative forms of business, particularly those that service economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs.  Five organizations received funding to specifically target cooperative small businesses.

SBA also prioritized projects that support entrepreneurship among ex-offenders in the criminal justice system. SBA recently changed the rules in its Microloan Program to allow loans to entrepreneurs on parole or probation.  Of 37 PRIME grantees this year, 15 will carry out projects that support entrepreneurship among ex-offenders.

This year’s PRIME awards also focused on organizations participating in SBA’s Community Advantage Program.  This program provides mission-oriented, non-profit lenders access to SBA’s 7(a) loan guarantees to help small businesses that have outgrown microlending but are not able to access more traditional financing, including funding from SBA commercial lending partners.  Eight Community Advantage Lenders were selected for PRIME awards.

“This $75,000 PRIME Grant will provide a boost to Austin, TX through PeopleFund,” said Regional Administrator Yolanda Garcia Olivarez.  “SBA is already assisting entrepreneurs here by approving  299 loans in Travis county for $119,913,085.00 within fiscal year 2016.  We know that when small businesses are created and grow, more jobs are established in the community.”

PRIME was created by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999.  Funds become available on September 30 and the grant is for one year.

Communities Unlimited, Inc. Fayetteville Ark.
Anewamerica Community Corporation Berkeley Calif.
California Association For Microenterprise Opportunity San Francisco Calif.
Grameen America Los Angeles Calif.
Main Street Launch Oakland Calif.
Pacific Asian Consortium In Employment Los Angeles Calif.
Pacific Coast Regional Corporation Los Angeles Calif.
HEDCO, Inc. Hartford Conn.
Credit Builders Alliance, Inc. Washington D.C.
National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Inc. Washington D.C.
Federation Of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund East Point Ga.
Georgia Micro Enterprise Network Atlanta Ga.
Chicago Neighborhood Initiative Micro Finance Group Chicago Ill.
Business Ownership Initiative Indianapolis Ind.
Riley Area Development Corporation Indianapolis Ind.
Local Enterprises Assistance Fund, Inc. Brookline Mass.
Harbor Bank CDC Baltimore Md.
Mainestream Finance Bangor Maine
Metro Community Development Flint Mich.
Justine Petersen Housing & Reinvestment Corporation Saint Louis Mo.
Center For Economic Empowerment And Development Fayetteville N.C.
Central Plains Foundation, Inc. Holbrook Neb.
Rising Tide Capital Inc. Jersey City N.J.
Capacity Builders, Inc. Farmington N.M.
Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union Brooklyn N.Y.
CAMBA, Inc. Brooklyn N.Y.
New York Women’s Chamber Of Commerce New York N.Y.
Trufund Financial Services, Inc. New York N.Y.
Finance Fund Capital Corporation Columbus Ohio
Cherokee Nation Tahlequah Okla.
Rural Enterprises Of Oklahoma, Inc. Durant Okla.
Micro Enterprise Services Of Oregon Portland Ore.
Community Capital Works, Inc. Philadelphia Pa.
Southeast Community Capital Corporation Nashville Tenn.
Peoplefund Austin Texas
People Incorporated Financial Services Abingdon Va.
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation Milwaukee Wis.

For more information on PRIME grants, visit


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012 has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.  The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.  Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.


PeopleFund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 1994. It is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and SBA certified lender. PeopleFund provides business loans up to $350,000 to Texas businesses that do not qualify for bank loans. It also provides client business assistance and education. The target market is minority, women, and veteran business owners and those residing in low to moderate income census tracts.  Over 40% of current loans are to startups and non-profit organizations. Through access to capital and educational opportunities, PeopleFund creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people to build healthy small businesses. PeopleFund inspires, educates, funds, and elevates entrepreneurs on the path to prosperity and the American dream.

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