Wisconsin has a rich history of entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas and diligent efforts have led to the development of products known worldwide. Not just in major cities but in communities throughout the state, entrepreneurship is a crucial force to propel the state’s economy into a vibrant future through the development of new businesses.

Through the Entrepreneurship Support Program, WEDC is helping to strengthen entrepreneurial communities and support new ventures through promoting entrepreneurship and supporting the success of Wisconsin entrepreneurs.

This program is a component of WEDC’s Capacity Building Grant Program.

How it works

WEDC will provide grants generally between $10,000 and $100,000 to eligible Wisconsin nonprofit organizations or communities for projects with eligible activities including the promotion of entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial education, mentoring or training programs; and facilitation of business development or financial services. Activities funded under the grants must occur during calendar year 2021. The funds may be used for personnel, professional services, general administrative costs and materials directly related to the project. Ineligible uses of funds include land, facility improvements and equipment; feasibility studies, fundraising or general marketing of the applicant organization; and costs unrelated to the awarded project or those incurred outside of the project period.

Eligibility requirements

Entrepreneurship Support grants will be awarded through one annual competitive process, with applications evaluated based on criteria including project alignment with program goals, applicant experience, project uniqueness, service need, impact, service area, collaboration and financial need. All complete applications that are submitted will be ranked to determine final award recipients.

Applicants are required to contribute matching funds equal to the amount of WEDC grant funding requested, which may include in-kind contributions of no more than 50% of the total match required.

Applicants are limited to one grant per application year. Entrepreneurship Support funding is not available for activities that are otherwise eligible to be funded through other programs offered by WEDC or its partners.