July 31, 2014
On Thursday, July 31, USDA announced that it has provided $300,000 in grant funding to each of 10 organizations to provide training and technical assistance to rural micro-entrepreneurs who are seeking to start or grow rural small businesses. The $300,000 is carry-over funding from previous years, not to be confused with the $1.5 million in grant funding and $24 million in loan capital that USDA made available in May. USDA is expected to announce these latter awards in the fall.
According to the USDA press release, the $300,000 in carry-over technical assistance grants “will fund new projects, including the Our Native American Business Network’s initiative to provide training to Native American entrepreneurs from the Muscogee (Creek) and Cherokee Nations in Oklahoma who are interested in launching new rural small businesses.”
We are pleased to note that the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks or ACE-Net, an NSAC member organization via the Central Appalachian Network, received one of the training and technical assistance awards. They do amazing work building businesses through incubators, loans, and training, as well as through policy development. We featured a different ACEnet project and federal funding award in an earlier blog post.
RMAP is administered by USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. The program provides loan capital and technical assistance funding to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs), who in turn provide loan capital and technical assistance to micro-entrepreneurs. There are three categories of funding that are available through RMAP:
See below for the full list of organizations that received the new grant awards to provide technical assistance and training to rural microentrepeneurs.