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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 1 of 3 Cohort training series.
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.
Application portal is closed. We are no longer accepting applications

California Dream Fund Info Webinar -  Friday, March 18, 2022 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Join us for an introduction to the California Dream Fund Grant Program as we provide an overview of the selection time, training program, usage of the Dream Fund Grant, requirements to receive grant funding, and eligibility requirements. Following the overview, the team will host 15-minute Q&A, so come prepared with questions.
  • Watch the recording
  • 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 1, 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

  • Grant application opens – March 14, 2022
  • Grant application closes – March 25, 2022, or once 300 applications have been submitted, whichever comes first.
  • 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 grants will be notified the week of March 28, 2022
    TAEP grantee technical assistance cohort period:
    • Cohort 1: April 5, 2022 – June 7, 2022
    • Cohort 2: June 2022 (Dates TBD)
    • Cohort 3: September 2022 (Dates TBD)
  • All grantees must complete required technical assistance and funds must be dispersed to qualifying small businesses no later than December 30, 2022.
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  • (10) 60–90-minute virtual training sessions every Tuesday starting at 12:00pm PST.
  • Topics include:
    • Introduction to Business Development and Management
    • Marketing and Sales
    • Risk Management & Liability
    • Financial Management & Credit
    • Access to Capital and Financing
  • 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 or on-demand within the timeline of their respective cohort. .
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
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 training sessions through virtual participation or on-demand.

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)

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

$5,000 for the following businesses:

  • Agriculture, Wildfire Mitigation/Forestry

  • E-Commerce/Marketplace

  • Service/Cottage Industry

  • Small Lab/Makers Space

$10,000 for the following businesses:

  • Brick-and-Mortar

  • Childcare

  • Construction Trades

  • Green Technology/Infrastructure

  • Manufacturing

  • Professional/Scientific/Technical

Application portal is closed. We are no longer accepting applications

Cassie Fortes (916) 389-7485

Stacey Tate (916) 389-7483