Entrepreneurship has played a crucial role throughout the history of Wisconsin’s economy, launching ideas with the power to solve problems around the world. WEDC’s Entrepreneurship Support Program aims to ensure that this entrepreneurial culture reaches all corners of the state and every constituency, so the next startups with promising ideas will always be able to find the support and resources they need to succeed.
The program awards grants of between $10,000 and $100,000 to nonprofits and community organizations to provide entrepreneurial education, mentoring programs and business development services. This year, grants of up to $250,000 are also available to organizations working on COVID-19 recovery projects with a state-wide impact. Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 23, 2020.
Launched in 2016 as a pilot, the Entrepreneurship Support Program has provided a total of almost $1.5 million in grants to 28 organizations statewide to help fund activities such as prototyping assistance, legal services and outreach to underserved entrepreneurs. In its last round of funding, the program provided $432,000 in grants to nine startup initiatives across the state.
Grants are awarded through a competitive process, and applications are evaluated for alignment with program goals, applicant experience, project uniqueness, service need, impact, service area, collaboration and financial need. Applicants are required to contribute matching funds equal to the funding requested, up to 50% of which can be in-kind contributions.
Application information, program guidelines and more details can be found here.