Homewood Grant Competition FAQs

Homewood Grant Competition

Frequently Asked Questions


Competition Process

After applications are reviewed, eligible entrepreneurs will be contacted and invited to participate in the competition. The following will be required:

  1. Participation in four workshops (these sessions will provide guidance in preparing a business plan and an “elevator speech”). Participation in the information sessions is mandatory. These workshops will take place on Saturdays in March and April. Exact dates and location will be posted here soon.
  2. Submission of a business plan
  3. Presentation in front of an audience, which will include the judging committee
  4. Grant Awards event participation.  Date (To Be Announced)


How will your applications be judged?

Applications that show a clear business idea, add value to the community, create new jobs or strengthen the economy of Homewood will be given strong consideration. Examples of business that will NOT be considered include: gambling, liquor stores, check cashing, pawnshops or multi-level businesses.


Who is Urban Innovation21 and why is it hosting this small business grant competition?

Urban Innovation21 is a public-private partnership that boosts regional economic development through 21st century innovation driven entrepreneurship.

The organization aims to connect underserved communities to our region’s growing innovation economy. Specifically, this competition focuses on encouraging and growing entrepreneurs who can become suppliers to or can support businesses in the innovation economy ecosystem. Recognizing that in many urban communities productivity often takes the shape of informal commerce, our micro-enterprise grants and trainings will include a bridge for informal sector entrepreneurs to bring their productivity into the mainstream and for small businesses to build to scale. This will improve their business, increase revenue, and lead to additional job creation in the community.


What is Zip Kiva?

Zip Kiva connects individuals interested in helping others start their own business by providing zero interest loans. Currently Kiva has over one million individual lenders that provide small loans to entrepreneurs. You determine the amount of the loan (up to $5,000) and repayment schedule. You must complete a Zip Kiva profile and be endorsed by a Trustee like Urban Innovation21. To be eligible you cannot have more than $3,000 in past due debts, be in foreclosure or bankruptcy and your loan amount cannot be more than 15% of your annual income. Typically entrepreneurs obtain their loans in one month from the time they completed their online profile.


What is Crowd Funding?

Crowd funding or crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding or hyper funding) describes the collective effort of individuals pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.  Crowd funding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, and support of artists by fans, political campaigns, funding a start-up business, movie or free software development, and scientific research.