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The California Dream Fund is a one-time $35 million grant program providing grants up to $10,000 to seed entrepreneurship and small business creation for businesses started in California on or after July 1, 2019. The grant is available to qualifying businesses that meet all eligibility criteria and complete a small business training program provided by the OCIE SBDC.
Following completion of an OCIE SBDC approved program, businesses will be eligible to apply for the grant.
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The OCIE SBDC only be providing the required training programs and consulting support to businesses as they proceed through the application process but will not be making grant award decisions.
The California Dream Fund Grant Program (CDFG or Dream Fund) was created in 2021 by Senate Bill No. 151 to provide microgrants up to $10,000 to seed entrepreneurship and small business creation in underserved small business groups that are facing capital and opportunity gaps. These microgrants shall be made available to startup clients participating in intensive startup training and consulting with the centers that are designated by the Small Business Technical Assistance Expansion Program.
Your business is eligible for the opportunity to apply for the California Dream Fund if:
Business must be located in Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino County
Business must have started on or after July 1, 2019
Complete all trainings of an approved OCIE SBDC training program
Has begun one-on-one consulting with OCIE SBDC
Receive appropriate licenses and permits to start the business in the state of California
Complete California Dream Fund Approved business plan
Must have a “qualifying event” that starts the business
Must attend a “How to Complete the California Dream Grant” webinar
Must agree to complete periodic surveys sharing business performance data.
Must not have been employed by the Norcal SBDC Network or one of its centers in the past 18 months or be immediate family of an employee.
Must not have received a Dream Fund Grant being offered by another entity.
A qualifying event would include:
A small business is considered a business with 5 employees or less and $1 million or less in annual receipts.
Because funds are limited, this grant program is only available to businesses that complete all aspects of a cohort training program (including meeting with an SBDC consultant). The OCIE SBDC anticipates approximately 600-700 grants will be awarded through the OCIE SBDC California Dream Fund Training Program before 12/31/2022.
The program is first-come, first-served, and there is a possibility not all who complete the training and consulting will be eligible for the grant.
No, the California Dream Fund is first come-first serve. The OCIE SBDC estimates roughly 650 grants will be awarded from the region.
There is no deadline to apply, but the program is on a first come, first served basis. There is also limited room in each training program cohort so we encourage you to sign up as soon as possible.
Eligible entities will be able to apply for up to $10,000. The specific grant amount is predetermined by the program rules and is based on business type, subject to validation, and non-negotiable.
Grant amounts - $10,000
Grant Amounts - $5,000
Each participant of the Dream Fund can only apply one-time for funding, no matter how many businesses they are planning on starting.
To qualify for the California Dream Fund, a participant must attend every session of the training program they sign up for.
The OCIE SBDC anticipates 600-700 grants will be awarded to businesses in the Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino region.
Neither income status nor citizenship status are questions that will be asked to determine eligibility. Applicants must be over 18 years old.
The OCIE SBDC is here to prepare you for successfully launching your business. Our suite of programs offer you the ability to choose an industry-specific program or general business program based on the type of business you are trying to start. SBDC programs include topics on business planning, finance, marketing, sales, human resources, licenses and permits and more. In less than 12-weeks, we will take you from an idea to an actual sale at one of our proof of concept platforms such as our e-commerce platform californiashopsmall.com, selling in a local marketplace or utilizing a commercial kitchen or local maker’s space. All programs are between 8-12 sessions in length and are led by our SBDC consultants and experts and offered at no cost throughout the Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino regions.
Unsure of where to begin when starting a business? SBDC Start will give you the information and skills to start your very own business.
Looking to open a brick-and-mortar business? Take your concept for a new store and make it a reality!
Starting a food truck, use a commercial kitchen, or open up a restaurant? SBDC’s EATS program starts you off with developing your concept for the business all the way through establishing it.
¿No está seguro de por dónde empezar al iniciar un negocio? ¡Mi negocio! ¡Mi futuro! le brindará la información y las habilidades para iniciar su propio negocio.
Learn how to expand your business onto an e-commerce platform and reach new audiences and increase your sales on a local, regional, and national scale.
Hobbyists, makers, and entrepreneurs- explore taking your idea to market. This program will take your product or concept and show you what it takes to run a successful business.
The fast-paced four-week program aids you in learning what it takes to run a business and allows you to operate a Marketplace vendor booth.
Start and own your own cosmetology business. Beauty experts will take you through starting your business, securing a location, and marketing.
Have a minimum viable product or working prototype? This program will help you form your startup structure and prepare you to find funding.
Don’t qualify for the grant? The OCIE SBDC can still help your business. Schedule a 1-on-1 consulting session with one of our business consultants or take a look at our calendar of workshops and trainings covering a wide array of business topics.
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