Center For Economic Inclusion
Vanguard Accelerator

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We will relaunch the program in 2025

In partnership with Founders First CDC and the Center for Economic Inclusion Vanguard Accelerator are offering Latina and Black Women-owned businesses capital investment and funding to accelerate their growth.

Be Considered For One Or More Opportunities

$50,000 in Business Grants and Program Scholarship

The fund will make investments of $5,000 each to 10 Latina and Black Women-owned businesses in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Frequently Asked Questions

Scholarship To Business Accelerator Program

Accelerator Program Scholarship
As part of our mission to provide continued education, all grant recipients will receive a scholarship to a Founders First accelerator program. Learn More

Access To
Forgivable Loans

Depending on the need and scope, recipients will receive access to forgivable loans ranging from $25,000 to $250,000.

Forgivable loans are use to support growth, sustainability, and job creation. Learn More

Take Advantage of the Benefits

How it Works

Eligibility Requirements

Timeline and Important Dates

What are we offering? 

  • $5,000 business grant
  • Scholarship to Founders First CDC business accelerator program
  • Access to Forgivable Loans ranging from $25,000 to $250,000

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Must be a Latina or Black women-owned business
  • Business located in the Minneapolis or St. Paul region
  • Must have 3 or more employees
  • Minimum of 3 years in business
  • Current business model Business-to-business (B2B) only
  • Annual business revenue between $75,000 and $3M

The pre-registration window is your opportunity to secure your spot early for a chance to receive grant funding for your business. Don’t worry, if you pre-register, we will ensure to remind you by email when the grant application launches on January 24, 2024.

Once the grant application opens, you’ll receive reminder emails containing direct links to the page where you left off. If you require assistance with the application, such as needing the application link or having questions about the assets, please email

The deadline to complete this grant application is February 21, 2024. 

For this application, you will be asked to provide these assets: 

  • Headshot Photo
  • Work Organization Chart
  • Profit / Loss Sheet
  • 1-3 minute video answering:
    • Description of your company.
    • What your company does/who you serve.
    • Why did you start your business?
    • Explain to the judges why you should be awarded a grant.

Do you need help with your application? We offer Virtual Office Hours through Zoom to answer any questions you may have or to assist you in progressing through the application process. If you are unable to join, please email your questions to

Register Here: (Zoom Meetings)

Our team and our supporting partners will commence the evaluation of the grant semi-finalist applications. During this period, you will be invited to participate in an exclusive virtual educational program, which we have designed with the intention of enhancing your understanding of how prepared your business is for funding, at no cost to you.

Important Note:
To be eligible as a finalist, completion of this educational program is required. However, the results from this program will not impact your ranking within the finalist bracket.

We will announce the finalists for the Vanguard Accelerator during our Virtual Press Event on Zoom. 

Watch a recap of our Center For Economic Inclusion Vanguard Accelerator Press Event:

2024 Center For Economic Inclusion Vanguard Accelerator Application Is Closed

Want to stay informed on the relaunch in 2025?

Supporting Partners
Meet Our 2023 Vanguard Accelerator Finalists 

Damaris Hollingsworth

Design By Melo

Anissa Keyes

Arubah Emotional Health Service

Antoinette Flores

Clutch Logistics

Kali Terry

Life Juices

Khadija Ali

Global Language Connections

Maria Burns Ortiz

7 Generation games

Babette Buckner

Moltron Builders

Cecilia Stanton

The Stanton Adams Consulting

Wendy Sullivan

Wenrich PD Construction

Tamara Taylor

SnackChat Networking Lounge

Terresa Moses

Blackbird Revolt

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