Founders First CDC Announces the 2nd Annual National $25,000 Pride Grant for LGBTQIA+ Led Small Businesses, Building on Last Year's Success

Cash funds will be provided to 25 LGBTQIA+ business founders nationwide to be used to support their business

San Diego, California | April 30, 2024

Founders First CDC (Founders First), a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that empowers the expansion of diverse founder-led, revenue-generating businesses alongside TurningPoint Executive Search, is pleased to announce that the 2024 National Pride Grant, a grant fund aimed to support U.S. based LGBTQIA+ small business owners, is now open for registration.

The LGBTQIA+ National Grant allows eligible small businesses to receive one of 25 grants totaling $25,000. Founders First is committed to increasing the number of diverse founder-led companies generating over $1 million in revenue and creating premium-wage jobs.

“It’s organizations like Founders First CDC that prioritize shining the spotlight on the underserved business community, just to stand outside of it and advocate for all diverse business owners. Their dedication to creating impactful programs for specific minority groups in need of access to capital is truly commendable,” says Matt Skallerud, Pink Media.

The judging committee for the Chicagoland Job Creators Grant includes a panel of our partners and other successful business owners.

Eligibility requirements for business owners: 

Identify as a LGBTQIA+ business owner 

  • Must be a CEO, President, or Business Owner 
  • Have an active U.S. based business 
  • Business Annual Revenue does not exceed $5M 
  • Must have between 2 to 100 employees 
  • Minimum of 1 year in business

Since Founders First CDC launched their grant programs, they have awarded more than $1,000,000 to minority and underserved business owners throughout the United States, focusing on Texas, Chicago, Southern California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey regions.

“Supporting LGBTQ+-owned small businesses is not just about economic empowerment; it’s about fostering a community where diversity is celebrated and everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. The National Pride Grant is a tangible way to invest in the future of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship, creating a ripple effect of positive change in our society,” says Shaylon Scott, Executive Director of Founders First CDC.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses in the United States alone. Of this group, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) estimated in 2017 that its 900+ members have created 33,000 jobs and have contributed $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy.

As we relaunch the National Pride Grant, we invite LGBTQIA+ small business owners to apply for the grant before the application opens on April 30, 2024. The application deadline is May 28, 2024. Together, we can continue to empower LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs and build a more inclusive economy for all.

For more information and to pre-register, go to 


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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