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The application period is now CLOSED. To find more information and other participating centers, click here.

 
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The California Dream Fund Grant Program is funded by the State of California and administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) in conjunction with the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce and the Sacramento Minority Business Development Agency Business Center. Eligibility criteria applies.

The California Dream Fund Grant Program was created in 2021 by Senate Bill No. 151 to provide microgrants up to $10,000 to seed entrepreneurship and small business creation in underserved small business groups that are facing capital and opportunity gaps. 

The Dream Fund is intended to seed entrepreneurship, fill opportunity gaps for underserved small business owners to help them reach greater parity in startups, initial revenue creation, and job creation. The purpose of the funding is to provide financial support and seed entrepreneurship married with technical assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs in underserved business groups, including businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, individuals without documentation, individuals with limited English proficiency, and business owners located in low-wealth and rural communities.

 

Once determined eligible, qualified and selected applicants will be required to attend Cohort 3 training.

Qualified and selected applicants will be placed in Cohort 3 based upon eligibility criteria and first come, first serve basis. In the event that you are not accepted into Cohort 3, you will be placed on a waitlist and will be notified should additional placements are made available.
 
Qualified and selected applicants will be placed in Cohort 1 based upon eligibility criteria and first come, first serve basis. If you are not accepted into Cohort 1, qualified and selected applicants will be placed on a waitlist and will be notified of placement into Cohorts 2 and 3.


Disclaimer:  Participation in the Cohort Training Program does not guarantee an award of the grant. Determination of being awarded the grant is based upon the items listed in the eligibility criteria including any valid supporting documentation and successful completion of the cohort training program.

 
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
  • Each participating entrepreneur must complete a defined small business/entrepreneurship curriculum and one-on-one counseling

  • Each participating entrepreneur must have established a legal business entity on or after July 2, 2019.

    • ​Have submitted required documentation to start the business in the State of California, or have proof that your business has begun the registration process for a business license/permit in the State of California before completion of your selected cohort training program.

  • Each participating entrepreneur must meet the definition of a new business start by fulfilling the following conditions:

    • Has acquired the necessary permits and licenses to operate legally AND at least one of the following:

      • Has made a first sale*

      • Has hired at least 1 employee (must be a W2 employee)

      • Has created a business banking relationship

      • Has obtained capital for the business

      • Has spent money on business expenses; this may include legal and accounting fees*

  • Meet the definition of a small business, defined as a business with 5 full-time equivalent employees or less and $1 million or less in annual receipts.

  • Each participating entrepreneur must agree to report on the progress of their business and use of grant funding to the SB TAEP Center where they received their training for at least one year or until the business is no longer operating

*Preferred qualifying events

Have a question? Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) sheet

 
SELECTION SCHEDULE

COHORT 3: September 6, 2022 - November 8, 2022 

  • Grant application opened on August 4, 2022 at 12:00 a.m. PT 

  • Grant application CLOSED on August 8.

  • Applications will be time-stamped and will be prioritized on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

  • Priority will be given to minority businesses, underserved, low-wealth, veteran, and women-owned businesses. 

  • Selected participants will be notified the week of August 15, 2022. 

  • TAEP grantee technical assistance cohort period: 

  • Cohort 1: April 5, 2022 – June 7, 2022 

  • Cohort 2: June 21, 2022 – August 23, 2022 

  • Cohort 3: September 6, 2022 – November 8, 2022 

  • All grantees must complete required technical assistance and funds must be dispersed to qualifying small businesses no later than December 30, 2022.

TRAINING PROGRAM:
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  • (10) 60-minute virtual training sessions every Tuesday starting at 12:00 p.m. PT.
  • Topics include:
    • Developing Your Business Concept 

    • Keys to Effective Business Planning 

    • Creating a Compelling Brand and Marketing Strategy 

    • Legal Structure and Intellectual Property Considerations 

    • Understanding and Building Personal and Business Credit 

    • Strategies for E-commerce, Web and Social Media 

    • Understanding Small Business Financial Statements 

    • Best Practices for Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation 

    • Cash Flow Management and Financial Projections 

    • Funding Options for Your Small Business

  • Selected grantees will be assigned a business advisor to provide guidance and support during the program.
  • Selected grantees are expected to complete all 10 training sessions through virtual participation within the timeline of their respective cohort. .
 
USAGE OF DREAM FUND GRANT
A business owner who is a recipient of a grant pursuant to statute to self-certify that grant funds will be used for one or more of the following eligible uses:

1. Certify and establish the business with the State of California including all necessary permits and licenses

2. Investment in working capital or equipment needs

3. Application for, or renewal of, a local permit including, but not limited to, a permit to operate as a sidewalk vendor

4. Investment in inventory

5. Fees related to business operations and business formation
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REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE GRANT FUNDING
These microgrants shall be made available to startup clients of Office of the Small Business Advocate Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development after participating in intensive startup training and consulting with the centers that are designated by the Small Business Technical Assistance Expansion Program (TAEP).
 
Selected grantees are expected to complete all 10 LIVE training sessions through virtual participation.

Additional information required prior to funding receipt:
  • Intended use of Dream Fund award (From permissible uses outlined above)
  • Intended location of operations including zip code
  • Intended business structure, if known
  • Number of employees, if any, based at the time that the business received assistance; zero shall indicate a sole proprietor
  • Status of Business Start conditions (Registered, In Process, Completed)
 
GRANT AMOUNTS

Grants are to be allocated in two amounts by business type:

$5,000 for the following businesses:
 

  1. E-Commerce / Marketplace 

  2. Small Lab / Makers Space 

  3. Brick and Mortar (operating under a sub-lease and not primary occupant, co-working space, etc.) 

  4. Service / Professional / Cottage Industry 
    Examples include but are not limited to:
    a. Cottage food
    b. Consulting

  5. Construction Trade (unlicensed non-general contractor and other subcontractors without license) 
    Examples include but are not limited to: 
    a. Handyman 
    b. Tiling
    c. Fencing
    d. Hauling
    e. Low-voltage cabling

  6. Transportation 
    Examples include but are not limited to: 
    a. Semitruck 
    b. Towing truck 
    c. Freight Site Dispatching
    d. Broker
    e. Driver
    Gig workers such as Uber and Lyft are not eligible for the California Dream Fund. 

  7. Childcare: In-Home 
    - Must be opening an in-home child-care facility 
    - Important Note: Eligible applicants for this business type are required to submit a childcare license from State of California.

$10,000 for the following businesses:
 

  1. Brick-and-Mortar (Must be operating a storefront, commercial space, etc.) 
    Important Note: Eligible applicants for this business type are required to submit a fully executed master lease, sub-lease for which business is primary occupant, or letter of intent in a commercial space. 

  2. Green Technology/Infrastructure 
    Eligible applicants for this business type must be creating a scalable technology-based company where funds will be utilized for IP, prototype development, or to create a proof of concept through Research and Development. 
    Examples include but are not limited to: 
    a. Renewable energy; 
    b. Solar energy; and 
    c. Zero Emissions Vehicles. 

  3. Manufacturing 
    Important Note: Eligible applicants in this business type are required to submit a fully executed master lease in a commercial space.

  4. Professional (non-consulting)/Scientific/Technical
    Eligible applicants for this business type must be creating a scalable technology company where funds will be utilized for IP, prototype development, or to create a proof of concept through Research and Development. 

  5. Construction Trades (general contractor, major subcontractor, or other construction trade operating under a valid applicable license) 
    Important Note: General contractors must have a general contractors license. 
    Examples include but are not limited to: 
    a. Plumber 
    b. Electrician
    c. Glazing

  6. Agriculture / Wildlife Mitigation / Forestry 
    - Procurement and contracting (e.g.; debris cleanup, freeway cleanup, etc.) 
    Important Note: Eligible applicants for this business type are required to submit a state or federal certification from a relevant body (e.g., US Forestry service, CalOES, USDA, etc.) 
    - Farming 

  7. Childcare: Commercial Space 
    - Must be opening a commercial space (not in-home) childcare facility 
    Important Note: Eligible applicants for this business type are required to submit a childcare license from State of California.

  • Note: This program will rely on the small business’s NAICS code (as reported on the small business’s most recent tax return if available, or the small business’s attestation to eligibility from the SB TAEP) to validate business type. Grant awards may be amended at the discretion of CalOSBA.

 
CONTACT INFORMATION
 sacramentombda@calasiancc.org

Stacey Tate (916) 389-7483

Ruben Moody (916) 389-7481