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

Southern California, CA – October 16, 2023 – 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 nonprofit dedicated to empowering expansion in diverse founder-led, revenue-generating businesses, has announced the launch of its 2023 Southern California Job Creators Grant. This grant aims to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in SoCal, fostering economic growth and job creation within disadvantaged communities.

The Job Creators Quest Grant aims to provide a much-needed boost to 25 local businesses in Southern California, supporting diverse-led enterprises that have shown resilience by retaining and expanding their workforce. Since its inception in 2021, this initiative has already assisted over 1400 companies nationwide.

Shaylon Scott, Executive Director of Founders First CDC, has gained invaluable insights into the challenges faced by diverse-led businesses throughout her years of dedicated observation. She said “through our grant programs, we are not just providing financial support; we are nurturing the dreams and aspirations of small business owners, and fueling their potential to create lasting change. These grants serve as a beacon of hope and a pathway to success, demonstrating our unwavering dedication to building a more inclusive economy.

This grant program, totaling $100,000, not only offers financial aid but also includes a scholarship to one of Founders First’s prestigious business growth accelerator programs. Its primary focus is on empowering businesses owned by diverse founders, with annual revenues ranging from $100,000 to $5 million, employing 2-20 individuals, and has the ability to add 1-2+ net new premium wage jobs in the next 12 months.

“We’re proud to support Founders First CDC in their commitment to providing expertise and grant funds to Southern California small business owners. Small businesses are the backbone of San Diego’s economy, making up 98 percent of firms and 61 percent of all jobs. It’s programs like these that ensure small and diverse firms can grow quality jobs and remain resilient in an unpredictable economy,” Eduardo Velasquez, Sr. Director of Research and Economic Development at San Diego Regional EDC.

Applications for the Southern California Job Creators Quest grant are open from October 17, 2023, to November 13, 2023.

To apply for the grant program, visit:


About Founders First CDC

Founders First CDC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 that was founded in 2015 and has received significant support from 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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