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Funding Available: Entrepreneurship Education Program for Formerly Incarcerated Persons

In order to facilitate the growth and global competitiveness of America’s growing minority business enterprise (MBE) community, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is seeking to fund innovative projects – to support formerly incarcerated individuals – with entrepreneurship assistance including (but not limited to):

(1) educational programs and workshops;

(2) entrepreneurial training; and

(3) coaching assistance.

Eligibility: Applicants may be for-profit entities (including but not limited to sole-proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations), non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, commercial organizations, state and local government entities, quasi-government entities, Indian Tribal governments, Tribal entities, and Native Hawaiian entities in any U.S. State or U.S. Territory.

Applications are due by June 22.

Click here for the solicitation (Entrepreneurship Education Program for Formerly Incarcerated Persons)

MBDA notes, in part:

MBDA is committed to leveraging its capabilities to help the Administration meet its goal and efforts to reduce crime, enhance public safety, and increase opportunities to improve the lives of all Americans.

The purpose of this notice is to request applications for special projects and programs associated with the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) strategic plans and mission goals, as well as to provide the general public with information and guidelines on how MBDA will select proposals and administer discretionary Federal assistance under this Broad Agency Announcement (BAA or Announcement).

The recidivism rate in the United States is high, with about 68% of released prisoners getting arrested for a new crime within 3 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014). Researchers have linked recidivism to unemployment, education, and inability to reintegrate into society after prison. A study by the Bureau of Justice reported that just 12.5% of employers are willing to consider job applications from people who have been convicted of a crime (2016).

Due to the increasing challenges that formerly incarcerated minority persons face in trying to reenter the workforce, there is a need to equip them with skills and a network to start their own businesses. MBDA anticipates making three (3) awards under this initiative at $300,000 each for a total of $900,000 in FY2020. Subject to the availability of funds, MBDA anticipates awarding an additional $900,000 in FY2021, for a total of $1,800,000.

Businesses that are owned or controlled by the following persons or groups of persons are the businesses that are considered MBEs for the purpose of pilot or demonstration projects designed to overcome their challenges: African American, Hispanic American, American Asian and Pacific Islander, Native American (including Alaska Natives, Alaska Native Corporations, and Tribal entities), Asian Indian American, and Hasidic Jewish Americans.

Projects must be located in any U.S. state or U.S. territory.

To apply and learn more, click here.

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