SBA Awards Entrepreneur Fund $200,000 PRIME Grant to Help Emerging Micro-Entrepreneurs Gain Access to Capital


The Entrepreneur Fund is set to receive a $200,000 PRIME Grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital

By Minnesota District

Duluth –
The Entrepreneur Fund is set to receive a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital through the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs, more commonly known as PRIME. The Entrepreneur Fund is a Community Development Financial Institution that serves 17 rural counties in northeastern Minnesota, central Minnesota, and northwest Wisconsin by providing strategic business services and small business financing.

The SBA’s PRIME award will support the Entrepreneur Fund’s efforts to provide both traditional one-on-one consultations and technical assistance, along with new virtual services. It will provide services to 400 disadvantaged microentrepreneurs to improve key business skills, develop entrepreneur networks, and access small business capital.

To do that, the Entrepreneur Fund intends to use the funds to develop more online learning platforms, virtual networking opportunities, and virtual classroom settings for business classes and programs. It will help the organization extend the reach of services to rural areas and support a transitioning culture around social distancing needs. This work will result in the growth of business revenues, personal incomes of the owner, and access to small business financing.

“These funds from the SBA will help the Entrepreneur Fund make an impact on entrepreneurs trying to take their business to the next level and make it sustainable during this challenging time,” SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott said. “This business development also will make an impact on local economies and help spur economic development and job creation in distressed areas, which is a key element of SBA’s strategy.”

For 2020, the SBA placed special emphasis on projects designed to offer training and technical assistance to strengthen economically disadvantaged businesses, particularly those projects serving entrepreneurs in Opportunity Zones, rural areas and Historically Underutilized Business Zones. The 30 PRIME grant recipients represent 19 states and 23 are in Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and designed 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 are designated as Opportunity Zones.

This year more than 120 organizations applied for PRIME grants, which range from $75,000 to $250,000, and typically require at least 50% in matching funds or in-kind contributions. PRIME was created by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999. Grant funds will be made available on September 30, 2020, and the project period for each grant is one year.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more visit


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