MBDA seeks to make lasting changes for America’s entrepreneurs through this MBDA Capital Readiness Program (hereinafter referred to as this “Program”) by seeking applicants who will help close the gaps in entrepreneurial opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged individual (SEDI) entrepreneurs and help unleash a new era of business growth, hiring, and wealth.
The spirit of entrepreneurship, where every individual with the desire and drive to build a business could have the opportunity to do so, is an important American value. Unfortunately, historic, and systemic barriers continue to make success more difficult to reach for SEDI entrepreneurs. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted SEDI entrepreneurs and their businesses.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 re-authorized the Department of Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) program to help revive entrepreneurship in America after the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. SSBCI provides a combined $10 billion to empower small businesses to access capital. SSBCI provides jurisdictions (states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments) funding for: (1) credit and investment programs for existing small businesses and start-ups and (2) technical assistance to small businesses applying for SSBCI funding and other government small business programs. This $93.5 million Program funded by MBDA aims to fund applicants who provide SEDI entrepreneurs with the resources and technical assistance necessary to launch and scale investable businesses that may successfully access capital through SSBCI, other government programs, or other sources of capital. MBDA expects participants in technical assistance funded by this Program to be SEDI-owned businesses2 that are applying, have previously applied, or plan to apply to an SSBCI capital program or other government program that supports small businesses.
For this Program, “Capital” is defined as equity investments, debt, or grants.
For this Program, a SEDI-owned firm is:
a) a business that is owned and controlled by individuals or whose current majority founders are individuals who have had their access to credit on reasonable terms diminished compared to others in comparable economic circumstances, due to their:
(1) membership in a group that has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society;
(3) veteran status;
(4) limited English proficiency;
(6) long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society;
(7) membership in a federally or state-recognized Indian Tribe;
(8) long-term residence in a rural community;
(9) residence in a U.S. territory;
(10) residence in a community undergoing economic transitions (including communities impacted by the shift towards a net-zero economy or deindustrialization); or
(11) membership in an underserved community.3
b) a business enterprise that certifies that it is owned and controlled by individuals whose residences are in Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Investment Areas, as defined in 12 C.F.R. § 1805.201(b)(3)(ii);
c) a business enterprise that certifies that it will build, open, or operate a location in a CDFI Investment Area, as defined in 12 C.F.R. § 1805.201(b)(3)(ii); or
d) a business enterprise that certifies that it is located in a CDFI Investment Area, as defined in 12 C.F.R. § 1805.201(b)(3)(ii).
Applicants may target their proposal to the needs of one or more specific groups within the SEDI definition (hereinafter referred to as “SEDI groups”).
The Program will fund and build a geographically dispersed network of MBDA Capital Readiness technical assistance providers that help SEDI entrepreneurs launch or scale existing businesses and to access SSBCI Capital, participate in other governmental programs that support small businesses, and secure other forms of Capitital.
Non-profit organizations,• Private sector entities (defined as entities that are not public sector entities). This includes, for example, for-profit entities of any type, including sole-proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations, but does not include public sector entities, such as Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Governments, agencies, or any of their instrumentalities,• Institutions of higher education, and• A consortium of two or more of any of the above-mentioned eligible applicants. In a consortium application, there must be a designated lead applicant; the lead applicant would enter into the award agreement with MBDA and assume primary operational and financial responsibility for completing the project should an award be made.