The weVENTURE WBC IMPACT Grant was created to support the growth and sustainability of established women-owned businesses.

weVENTURE Women's Business Center (WBC) has been inspired by the Impact100 model for women-led community-based philanthropy to leverage the generosity of the League of Extraordinary Investors (LEI) and provide funding to deserving female entrepreneurs. Impact100 empowers women from all walks of life to see themselves as philanthropists and join into collective action that provides impactful funding to worthy causes in their local community.  Similarly, the weVENTURE WBC IMPACT Grant is funded by LEI donations and proceeds from the mission moment at the Wine Women & Shoes Space Coast fundraiser.  IMPACT Grants will be awarded to deserving weVENTURE WBC clients, helping overcome the barriers women business owners have historically faced when seeking funding.

Access to capital is consistently cited as a top challenge facing weVENTURE WBC clients.  According to research by Fundera, only 25% of female entrepreneurs seek business funding, and those who do ask for less and receive less than their male counterparts. The weVENTURE WBC IMPACT Grant will award one to three micro-grants ($10,000 or less) to fund promising for-profit women-owned business(es) located in Brevard, Indian River or St. Lucie counties. While we cannot entirely overcome the gender discrepancy in access to capital, the IMPACT Grant is a first step to draw attention to the problem while providing direct solutions.

The concept is simple:

  • 10% of the annual $1,000 donation from LEI members fund the IMPACT Grant program. The number and size of grants given is dependent on the number of members.
    • The goal is to recruit at least 100 members and provide at least $10,000 in grants each year.
  • LEI membership is open to anyone age 18 and over and is renewable annually.
  • For-profit, women-owned businesses will complete an application to apply for a grant demonstrating how the funds will make an impact for their business.
  • Members of the LEI may volunteer to serve on committees that evaluate the grant applications, rate presentations, and select a finalist or finalists for awards.
  • Finalists chosen from the applications will be invited to present their presentations (Pitch Deck) at the IMPACT Summit on October 4, 2024, detailing their proposal request with desired outcomes.
  • A committee of LEI members will vote and checks will be presented live on stage at the IMPACT Summit.

Eligibility: The weVENTURE WBC IMPACT Grant was created to support the growth and sustainability of established women-owned businesses meeting the following criteria:

  • A woman-owned business means any registered organization or enterprise providing products or services that is at least 51% or more woman owned.  SBA WOB certification is not necessary.
  • For-profit business that has been registered with the State of Florida and generating revenues for a minimum of two (2) years, is located within Brevard, Indian River or  St. Lucie counties, has 10 employees or less and has been a registered and active client of weVENTURE WBC.
  • Types of businesses that are not eligible for funding include: non-profit organizations, real estate investment firms, multi-level marketing companies, gun shops, shops that sell drug paraphernalia, pawn shops, bail bond services, check cashing facilities, adult entertainment facilities, and any business or service deemed illegal.

Process Eligibility/Application – Opening on June 15, 2024, established weVENTURE WBC clients will be invited to apply. They are also invited to attend a virtual weVENTURE WBC Grant Application Workshop to be held Tuesday, June 25, 12:00pm–1:00pm. Register HERE

Application Review: The LEI Grant Committee members read, score, and evaluate the applications to select semi-finalists.

Application Period Closes: All applications must be submitted by July 19th, 2023.

Semi-Finalist Notifications and Presentation RequirementS:  Semi-finalists will be notified by August 24 and agree to present a Pitch Presentation at the IMPACT  Summit on October 6 in support of their funding request. Over the period between August 26th, 2024 and Sept 29, 2024, finalists will receive free training and mentoring to support the development of the Pitch Deck presentation. Completed Pitch Decks must be submitted by Sept 30 – no exceptions.

Scoring and Voting: Committee members participating in the judging will use a Scoring Rubric for the applications and presentations.

Awards Determination: Based on the caliber of applicants, relevance of business needs presented and amount of funds available, the committee will determine the number of grants to be awarded and the amount of each grant.

Grant Awards – Finalists will be presented with their checks at the IMPACT Summit, live on stage.

Post Award Support – weVENTURE WBC Business Coaches and Mentors will support the IMPACT Grantees for a 2-year period following the award to provide ongoing support to the business owner and to keep LEI membership apprised of any news and developments.

Required Reporting: Grantees are required to submit a quarterly Outcomes Report for two (2) years following the award, to report on on business developments and key outcomes such as revenue, job creation and additional capital infusions. 

COMPLETE THE APPLICATION HEREThis is an online fillable form. 

Please contact Jeannette Kraar with any questions at:  jkraar@fit.edu