Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) recently announced that $9.8 million in funding will be provided to the Women’s Business Development Councilan organization that works to grow sustainable businesses across the state.
The funding, which will be spread over a five-year period, is part of a $46.6 million investment from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. The rest of the funds will go to nine other local nonprofit economic development organizations, according to a news release.
WBDC will use the funds to expand its technical assistance programs to women-owned businesses statewide, the press release said.
“WBDC’s Equity Match Grant and Launchpad programs provide capital injections of $2,500 to $10,000, coupled with expert technical assistance to effectively help women-owned businesses access financial capital and sense of purpose. businesses they need to launch, scale and grow successful businesses in Connecticut,” the press release said.
Fran Pastore, Founder and CEO of WBDC, said the organization was delighted to receive the funding.
“We are thrilled with the governor’s announcement and to be among the incredible and deserved organizations that are also receiving support through this initiative,” Pastore said. “Through these funds, we have the opportunity to develop and expand some of our existing programs that have had a significant and measurable impact on our state’s small business community.”
One of the grant programs, called Equity Matching Granthas awarded 167 grants to public companies, totaling $1.5 million, since its launch in 2020.
The Launchpad grant, which is the other funding program, is in its pilot phase and has so far awarded $37,500 out of a total of 15 grants, the press release said.
Also according to the press release, WBDC will focus on women of color in struggling Connecticut municipalities.
“The funds will also allow WBDC to provide personalized business advice, mentorship, financial education and networking opportunities to all grant applicants – awarded or not – with a personalized focus on women of color in the struggling municipalities,” the press said. Release.
Funding will also be allocated to the opening of an additional WBDC business center in Waterbury, Connecticut, which is expected to help strengthen the city’s economy.
“WBDC’s presence in this distressed community will position the council to serve as a strategic partner with the City of Waterbury in its efforts to strengthen the economy of the city and surrounding communities,” the press release reads.