Prompted by a global pandemic forcing so many businesses to close in 2020, the Global Entrepreneurship Network immediately got to work developing COVID-19 resource centers, hackathons and more, including finding ways to quickly get financial help directly in the hands of entrepreneurs. By the end of the year, thanks to partnerships with Hello Alice, eBay, Verizon, UBS, Mastercard, KKR and several private donors, GEN was able to send nearly $2 million in $10,000 grants to entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented communities both in the United States and overseas.
In 2021, another $5.5 million in grants is already budgeted for entrepreneurs in need, and GEN, with our lead partner Hello Alice, hopes to forge new partnerships to help more entrepreneurs make it through the darkest days of the crisis.
The program in 2021 is currently focused on our ongoing partnership with KKR and Hello Alice on the KKR Small Business Builders program, and the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) on a BGE Energizing Small Business Grants program, part of BGE's comprehensive Customer Relief and Energy Infrastructure Investment Plan designed to help the state’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Applications can be made on the Hello Alice platform by clicking the links below.
GEN is committed to doing everything it can to make it possible for the world's most promising entrepreneurs to survive the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic and to return to their traditional role of being the primary job creators in most economies of the world.
KKR Small Business Builders
GEN, along with KKR and Hello Alice, is awarding a series of $10,000 grants to selected entrepreneurs who are pivoting in response to the pandemic and are operated by historically underrepresented groups. To be eligible, a business must: have between 5-50 employees, less than $7 million in annual revenue, a need for support, a strong plan and be in good standing with the IRS or their local regulatory body.
BGE Energizing Small Business
GEN, along with Baltimore Gas + Electric and Hello Alice, is awarding $15 million in BGE Energizing Small Business grants to power small businesses in Maryland. The grants, $20,000 each, are open to all who qualify and will prioritize companies owned by underrepresented groups. To be eligible, a business must: be a BGE customer, have between 2-25 employees, less than $7 million in annual revenue, a need for support, a strong plan and be in good standing with the State of Maryland.
2020 Grant Programs
Business for All Grants
Made possible by Verizon, GEN and Hello Alice delivered provided grants up to $50,000 to support business growth and help entrepreneurs find the best mentor possible.
COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Grants
Made possible by eBay, UBS and Mastercard, GEN and Hello Alice provided entrepreneurs with $650,000+ in grants plus a COVID-19 Business Resource Center offering access to additional resources and programs to help entrepreneurs survive and thrive.
Latinx: The Mosaic Grants
GEN, Hello Alice and Dany Garcia, cofounder of Seven Bucks Productions with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, awarded a total of $100,000 to Latinx small and new business entrepreneurs through short-term grants.