National Nonprofit, Founders First CDC, Awards $100,000 to PA/NJ Diverse-Led Businesses

Founders First CDC launches $100,000 Job Creators Quest Grant program to create and promote premium wage jobs to small businesses in underserved communities

Minority-owned businesses continue to regain their footing and rebuild their pre-pandemic presence. Recognizing this need, Founders First CDC (Founders First), a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to empowering expansion in diverse founder-led, revenue-generating businesses, has announced the launch of its 2023 Job Creators Quest Grant. This grant aims to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, fostering economic growth and job creation within disadvantaged communities.

The Job Creators Quest Grant will provide a much-needed boost to twenty five  local businesses in Philadelphia, PA, Camden, NJ, Trenton, NJ, and Newark, NJ. The grant, totaling $100,000, will be awarded to diverse-led businesses that have demonstrated resilience by retaining and growing their workforce. This initiative began in 2021 and to date has successfully supported over 750 companies (add total grants provided to businesses from previous grants) across the nation.

“We are so pleased to partner with Founders First CDC and help to spread the word about the Job Creators Grant again this year,” expressed Jelani Wheeler, from the The Business Center For Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise located in Philadelphia. “Small enterprises serve as the bedrock of our economy, playing a vital role in fostering resilient and prosperous local communities. Current economic volatility has increased disparities for our entrepreneurs.  There is no better time for a grant like this designed to help small businesses with the greatest need, as they continue to strive and work to employ more members of our community.”  

“The job creators grant through Founders First has helped us up significantly. We were able to actually bring on some new sales reps onto the team and put those funds toward training to equip them with the information and the tools that they need to be able to continually get the word out for the awareness of our program and our software,” said past grant recipient, Bootcamp Program graduate, and CEO of LINEA System, Kathleen Colatrella.

The Job Creators Quest Grant not only provides financial assistance but also offers a scholarship to one of Founders First’s renowned business growth accelerator programs. It is designed to empower businesses led by diverse founders, generating annual revenues between $100,000 and $3 million, and employing 2-20 individuals. 

Shaylon Scott, Executive Director of Founders First, highlighted the obstacles encountered by diverse-led businesses, affirming, “Our grant program serves as a pathway to achieving success beyond traditional classroom settings. Our primary objective is to equip entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to expand their ventures while simultaneously becoming catalysts for high-paying job opportunities within their local communities. By investing in diverse entrepreneurs, we are fostering a profound impact on job creation and the generation of wealth in underserved areas.” 

Applications for the Pennsylvania and New Jersey grant will be open from May 30, 2023, to June 26, 2023.

To apply for the grant program, visit:


About Founders First CDC

Founders First CDC is a not-for-profit 501c3 that was founded in 2015 and has received significant support from the regional community reinvestment banks to empower diverse founder-led, revenue-generating small businesses through three primary programs: (1) Founders Challenge; (2) Founders Bootcamp; and (3) Founders FastPath. By building recurring revenues, tech- enablement, and essential solution focus, Founders First serves as a catalyst for positive change to entrepreneurs of color and female founders to become leading employers in their communities.

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