We are excited to announce our second annual First Dollar program, the program will help support Black and Brown entrepreneurs in the area by providing them with critical “first dollar” grants to help their startups thrive.
“Not all entrepreneurs have equal access to capital to grow their businesses,”Patrick Henshaw, Managing Director at Render Capital.
We are launching the second year of activity for The First Dollar program in collaboration with our founding partner Access Ventures, and will provide $5,000 grants to 20 local businesses at the earliest stage of business development, for a total contribution of $100,000 to the local community. Grant recipients will be for-profit organizations, located in Jefferson County, Kentucky or Clark and Floyd County, Indiana, that are seeking their first significant capital contribution. To determine which local startups will be funded, we have partnered with four local organizations – Louisville Urban League, Russell: A Place of Promise, GEDDI, and Amplify Louisville. Through this partnership, we are empowering those who work closely with Black and Brown entrepreneurs to facilitate the disbursement of grant funds. As part of the First Dollar program, the four partnering organizations have until the end of 2022 to distribute funds to the startups of their choosing.
The 20 entrepreneurs who received funding for their businesses in 2021 through the First Dollar Program include:
- Ausha Hillman, Julee’s Mocha
- Bailey Griffin, Bath Wonderland
- Ebony Campbell, Nubian Newborns
- Elliot Nicols and Nick Raymore, Mink Mutual Broadcasting
- Heather Boyd, HB’s Soul Creations
- Jaelah Wilson, Pure Intent
- Jocelyn Clayborn, Jahja’s Fresh Beverages
- Julian Thomas, Black Heart Comic
- Keishanna Hughes, The Source 502
- Lakisha Morris, DaChe’s Cakes and Treats
- Macy Williams, Happy Brown Girl
- Mahogany Livers, Mindful Moments
- Marquel Lett, Sequel Scents
- Nicole Scott, Nicole Scott Inc.
- Rheonna Thornton, Lipstick Wars
- Sherelle Gore, Gore’s SmokeOut BBQ
- Talia Cooksey, Lending Hands Companion & Care
- Tracy Tarver, Mother’s Cup
- Zakiyya Madden, Posh Beauty Studio
- Latasha Harrison, Ikon Media Group
Because of the support from the First Dollar Program, many of these businesses have seen an increase in revenue and had a profitable year of business. “Business is doing great! I’ve added two new products and improved my marketing and customer retention. For the next couple of months I will push to gain more momentum and reach more people,” said Jaelah Wilson, Founder of Pure Intent.
“We are so proud to partner again with Render Capital’s First Dollar Program,” said Cherena Fox, GEDDI Program Director. “These grants are crucial to boost early business development and make a significant impact for emerging businesses, as well as the communities they serve.”
“Access Ventures is delighted to continue our funding of the First Dollar Program as a part of our larger regional capital initiative that aims to increase access to capital for excluded entrepreneurs locally,” said Bryce Butler, Managing Director of Access Ventures. “This program is a collaborative community effort and we invite any organization who is passionate about this work to join us.” Organizations interested in playing a role in The First Dollar program should email firstname.lastname@example.org To learn more about the program, visit www.render.capital/firstdollar.