Piedmont Community Foundation of Middleburg announces its new Economic Development Microenterprise Grants program to aid local economic recovery and employment solutions.
The program offers outright grants to individuals launching or innovating a business that meets economic thresholds of need.
Grants, expected to average $10,000, may be used to purchase equipment and hire staff, including start-up businesses or small businesses seeking to expand. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1, 2014. Applicants making a “first cut” will be asked to submit a full application no later than March 20, 2014. Grants will be announced by June 1, 2014.
While microenterprise grants are often better known in international arenas, PCF and its board of directors applied the model locally.
The program's funders represent a giving circle of community investors—local entrepreneurs who have personal experience sitting "on both sides of the desk," including the requirement to seek out funds to augment business concepts underway. Our donors find this a meaningful way to "pay it forward."
A PCF Review Team, largely comprised of program donors, will review applications, interview applicants, and provide mentorship follow-up to recipients. Involving these local entrepreneurs/donors, given their range of skills and interests, will offer breath and scope to the review process. Further, Review Team participants are also expected to provide longer-term mentorship support to grantees, too.
Piedmont Community Foundation was founded in 1999 and serves Loudoun and northern Fauquier Counties. It provides financial stewardship for almost 30 endowment funds and holds approximately $1.3 million in endowment. Community foundations number more than 700 across America and 29 in Virginia and attract gifts and bequests to benefit local communities to build everlasting endowment.