The San Francisco Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund is a joint project of MEDA in collaboration with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) of the Mayor’s office. The Fund provides mini-grants of up to $5,000 to San Francisco women-owned small businesses for projects and upgrades that will have a transformative impact on the business’ ability to grow. The Fund is established to improve the small business environment for women entrepreneurs in San Francisco and encourage collaboration between women entrepreneurs and local technical assistance providers.
Projects eligible for funding considerations should entail investments in one of the following:
- Business operations improvements: marketing, financial/accounting, new equipment and/or technology, trainings, networking
- Visual merchandising, space improvements, and marketing: window displays, lighting, signage, layout improvement, design changes, online marketing, trade shows, other marketing and customer acquisition opportunities.
- San Francisco woman-owned small business operating full-time with at least 40 percent revenue in the city. Full-time is defined as 32 hours/week or at least $27,755 (32 hours at SF minimum wage) business total income. There is also a maximum total income of $500,000. (the technical assistance provider who nominates the business will need to confirm or verify the income); and
- Current, active relationship with a San Francisco nonprofit organization (funded by the city of San Francisco) that provides technical assistance to small businesses established and operating in the city of San Francisco; and
- Having completed 3 months and a total of at least 8 hours of consulting with the technical assistance provider; and
- Commitment to continue working with the technical assistance provider for at least 6 months.
- Current lease with at least 18 months remaining, if applicable.
- Confirm that business understand the grant is considered taxable income.
- The applicant is low/moderate income.
- Maximum of business gross income of $500,000 or business net income of $27,755.
- SFWEF application must be signed by nominator and the business owner.
Criteria for Determining Funding Amount
The review panel shall base funding awards and amounts on the following criteria:
- Potential for business growth and expansion due to the project
- Capacity and expertise of the entrepreneur
- Quality of relationship with the technical assistance providers
- Feasibility of the projects
- Impact of the grant award on the project success
Business technical assistance providers funded by the city of San Francisco are invited to nominate their clients and present complete applications on a rolling basis. Eligible applicants will be invited, on a rolling basis, to pitch their project proposal to the San Francisco Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund Committee. The committee will provide feedback to all applicants who participate and make determination of fund awards.
- Contact your business technical assistance provider (TA provider) to request a nominations letter and their assistance with the application process.
- Complete the application, gather copies of supporting documents including business registration certificate, and financial worksheets.
- Have your TA provider submit your application and support documents to MEDA.
For more information, please contact the Associate Director for Business Development Program Edwin Rodriguez: (628) 333-7941, firstname.lastname@example.org.