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SBA to Help Emerging Micro-Entrepreneurs Access Capital
Nebraska Ag Connection - 09/24/2020

Thirty organizations across the United States that assist disadvantaged entrepreneurs are set to receive nearly $5.5 million in grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration's Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME). These nonprofit organizations help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital to establish and expand their small businesses.

The SBA Nebraska District Office announced that the Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF) is the recipient of an SBA PRIME Grant. NEF, a CDFI with over 25 years of experience, envisions a vibrant small business ecosystem where every small and micro business has the opportunity to start, grow, and prosper. NEF supports underserved communities by providing micro and small businesses with access to training, technical assistance, and capital.

NEF will reach disadvantaged microentrepreneurs across both rural and urban Nebraska and entrepreneurs based in HUBZones and/or Opportunity Zones. NEF will execute training and technical assistance that targets disadvantaged entrepreneurs and focuses on skill development and growth. Key activities will include supporting Small and Emerging Businesses in the contracting field to improve their credentials. Disadvantaged microentrepreneurs will receive training on QuickBooks, business planning, entrepreneurship and credit.

This year, the SBA placed emphasis on projects that will offer training and technical assistance to strengthen economically disadvantaged businesses, particularly those that service entrepreneurs in Opportunity Zones, rural areas, and HUBZones.

"Capital is king for any aspiring or current entrepreneur, and the SBA is committed to providing critical funding to small businesses," SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said. "Retaining jobs -- and creating new ones -- is essential this year, and we are proud to award this year's PRIME grants to assist entrepreneurs with the necessary training to create thriving sustainable businesses."

This year's 30 recipients come from 19 states and the District of Columbia, and 23 of the recipients are in Opportunity Zones. President Trump signed legislation creating Opportunity Zones in 2017 to spur new capital investment in America's economically distressed communities. Nearly 9,000 communities in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and five territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones.

The PRIME grants range from $75,000 to $250,000, and typically require at least 50 percent in matching funds or in-kind contributions. In total, over 120 organizations applied for PRIME grants for 2020.

PRIME was created by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999. Grant funds will be made available on Sept. 30 and the project period for each grant is one year.

For more information on the SBA's PRIME grants and a list of this year's grantees, go online to

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