Participants in a series of select entrepreneurship courses this winter will be eligible to win a total of $30,000 in micro-grant awards thanks to the Urban Business Growth Initiative.
Funded by the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and administered by the UMKC Innovation Center, the new Dare to Venture Micro-Grant Competition is expected to feature numerous prizes with a top winner earning at least $5,000.
“A $5,000 prize can make a world a difference to a business owner who has already done the groundwork to build their dream,” said Carmen DeHart, senior director of entrepreneurial education at the UMKC Innovation Center. “We want this competition to support, spotlight and even spark the work and courage that goes into being an entrepreneur.”
The prizes are grants with no equity component, DeHart emphasized, and judging falls to peers — fellow entrepreneurs who’ve shared the journey of entrepreneurship and continued education.
Dare to Venture also rewards entrepreneurs who have already invested in their entrepreneurial education by taking a multi-session, 30-hour+ entrepreneurship class, getting a coach (a part of the class) and building their peer network, she said. And finally, judging falls to peers — fellow entrepreneurs who’ve shared this journey of entrepreneurship and continued education.
The competition is open to all UBGI scholarship-funded graduates — past or current — of the center’s 30-hour+ entrepreneurship courses who currently live in or whose businesses are located in Kansas City, Missouri. Graduates of extended entrepreneurship courses that start in late January and February 2020 also are eligible to enter the competition.
Click here for a list of qualifying entrepreneurship courses.
Contest applications open March 15, 2020.
Click here for a full competition description, timeline and rules.
Click here to apply for a UBGI scholarship, which can bring the cost of classes down to $75.
Winners will be announced at a city-sponsored event May 7 during the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week.
“The micro-grant competition is an idea generated through startup community participation in the City Budget Speakeasy public input sessions,” said Rick Usher, assistant city manager of the City of Kansas City, Missouri. “It’s exciting to see this come to fruition through our partnership with the UMKC Innovation Center.”