PeopleFund Blog

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.FayettevilleArk.
Anewamerica Community CorporationBerkeleyCalif.
California Association For Microenterprise OpportunitySan FranciscoCalif.
Grameen AmericaLos AngelesCalif.
Main Street LaunchOaklandCalif.
Pacific Asian Consortium In EmploymentLos AngelesCalif.
Pacific Coast Regional CorporationLos AngelesCalif.
HEDCO, Inc.HartfordConn.
Credit Builders Alliance, Inc.WashingtonD.C.
National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Inc.WashingtonD.C.
Federation Of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance FundEast PointGa.
Georgia Micro Enterprise NetworkAtlantaGa.
Chicago Neighborhood Initiative Micro Finance GroupChicagoIll.
Business Ownership InitiativeIndianapolisInd.
Riley Area Development CorporationIndianapolisInd.
Local Enterprises Assistance Fund, Inc.BrooklineMass.
Harbor Bank CDCBaltimoreMd.
Mainestream FinanceBangorMaine
Metro Community DevelopmentFlintMich.
Justine Petersen Housing & Reinvestment CorporationSaint LouisMo.
Center For Economic Empowerment And DevelopmentFayettevilleN.C.
Central Plains Foundation, Inc.HolbrookNeb.
Rising Tide Capital Inc.Jersey CityN.J.
Capacity Builders, Inc.FarmingtonN.M.
Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit UnionBrooklynN.Y.
CAMBA, Inc.BrooklynN.Y.
New York Women’s Chamber Of CommerceNew YorkN.Y.
Trufund Financial Services, Inc.New YorkN.Y.
Finance Fund Capital CorporationColumbusOhio
Cherokee NationTahlequahOkla.
Rural Enterprises Of Oklahoma, Inc.DurantOkla.
Micro Enterprise Services Of OregonPortlandOre.
Community Capital Works, Inc.PhiladelphiaPa.
Southeast Community Capital CorporationNashvilleTenn.
People Incorporated Financial ServicesAbingdonVa.
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative CorporationMilwaukeeWis.

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.

, , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Back to Blog