Making Moves: A Unique Program for New and Starting Black-Owned Businesses Wanting to Grow from Home-Based to a “Brick and Mortar” Space
Access Plus Capital is proud to announce Making Moves, its summer intensive for Black entrepreneurs operating home-based businesses who are ready to move into a leased or purchased commercial space.
Making Moves is a 12-week business success program built upon our Ready, Set, Launch! curriculum with a special emphasis on transitioning into a “brick and mortar” facility (office, spa, restaurant, shop, salon, studio, etc).
Targeted workshops covering the specifics of signing a commercial lease, purchasing a commercial building, negotiating “build to suit” agreements, and much more have been added to the APC Ready, Set, Launch! curriculum with the goal of participants being “move-ready” upon completing the program.
As an added bonus, our intensive Making Moves program satisfies the mandatory business education requirements outlined by the State of California for the California Dream Fund grant program, and those who successfully complete Making Moves will be eligible to apply for the $5,000 or $10,000 Dream Fund grant.
Access Plus Capital is an authorized training center for the California Dream Fund grant. Business owners who complete Ready, Set, Launch!: Making Moves Edition will be eligible to apply for the grant. To receive the grant, applicants must also fulfill additional requirements outlined by the State of California.
In the video below, Pamela Mostert, Business Services Manager for Access Plus Capital, explains these requirements and the Ready, Set, Launch! course in detail.
Please call Pamela Mostert at (559) 263-1361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding Making Moves, Ready, Set, Launch!, the California Dream Fund, or are in need of assistance completing the application.
June 1-20: Application window for Making Moves
June 30: Selected applications notified
July 14 – October 6: 12-week Making Moves weekly classes
Eligibility for California Dream Fund Grant Program
- Attend and graduate Access Plus Capital’s Making Moves Entrepreneurship Training Program or another entrepreneurship training program offered by a center approved by the State of California.
- For Making Moves you must attend at least 10 of the 12 weekly 90-minute workshops. You are also required to attend one-on-one consulting sessions.
- You must develop a budget and a comprehensive road map (business plan) for your business.
- You MUST NOT have filed any official California business documents (such as a business license, fictitious business name statement, corporate or LLC documents, etc.) for your business BEFORE July 2019. If you never filed paperwork or filed on or after July 1, 2019, you will be considered a new business and will be eligible to apply.
- BEFORE the program ends, you must acquire ALL necessary permits to operate legally AND at least one of the following: made a first sale; hired at least 1 employee; created a business banking relationship; spent money on business expenses (including legal and accounting fees)
- Agree to inform Access Plus Capital about the progress of your business for at least one year.
- Once the training program is completed, upload all required documentation to Lendistry for grant application submission and grant disbursement.
Participation in APC’s Making Moves Training Program does not guarantee an award of the grant. Determination of grant eligibility is based upon the items listed in the eligibility criteria including any valid supporting documentation plus successful completion of the Making Moves training program or a training program offered by another approved facility.
- June 1: APC Making Moves program applications open
- June 20: APC application window closes
- Applications received by APC will be evaluated and scored by a judging panel.
- June 30: Applicants selected for Making Moves are notified.
- July 14 – October 6: The Making Moves program
In addition to finishing the Making Moves education program, participants will be expected to complete one-on-one consulting, write a business plan, and meet all state requirements. Graduates must then apply for the grant money through Lendistry and have funds dispersed no later than December 30, 2022.
All grant eligible program graduates must apply through Lendistry for the Dream Fund Grant and have funds dispersed no later than December 30, 2022.
About Access Plus Capital
Access Plus Capital is a non-profit, community development financial institution (CDFI) providing low-barrier, easy access small business loans, grants, business education, and coaching services to historically excluded and disinvested communities. Our mission is to eliminate economic barriers to financial success through fair and equitable community investment, and since our inception in 2008, we have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs realize their dreams. Our services cover 14 Central Valley counties: Fresno, Madera, Merced, Mono, Inyo, Tulare, Kern, Kings, Monterey, Mariposa, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne.
Whether you are starting a business in Fresno County, expanding in Kern County, or franchising throughout the Central Valley, we can provide the funding and business expertise you need.
About Making Moves
Ready, Set, Launch!: Making Moves Edition is an enhanced version of the state-approved “Ready, Set, Launch!” entrepreneurial education program created by Access Plus Capital to prepare aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to qualify to apply for a grant from the California Dream Fund.
Access Plus Capital’s Making Moves program meets the educational requirements outlined by the State of California for new and start-up small business owners seeking the $5,000 or $10,000 seed money grant. Following successful completion of this training and consulting program, cohort participants will be eligible to apply for the grant. You will not be able to apply for the California Dream Fund grant without completing an approved educational program offered by a participating training provider such as Access Plus Capital.
About the California Dream Fund Program
The California Dream Fund Grant Program was established in 2021 by Senate Bill No. 151 to provide microgrants to seed entrepreneurship and small business creation in underserved small business groups that are facing capital and opportunity gaps.
The California Dream Fund Program is a one-time $35 Million grant program that will provide microgrants up to $10,000 to seed entrepreneurship and small business creation in California. This program is administered by CalOSBA and disbursed through the California Small Business Technical Assistance Expansion Program (TAEP) Network of Centers.
To participate in the program, entrepreneurs can apply for an intensive startup program developed by one of the participating TAEP centers. After successful completion of the program and all requirements, business owners will become eligible to apply for one grant of up to $10,000
Frequently Asked Questions
The California Dream Fund is a one-time $35 million grant program to seed entrepreneurship and small business creation in the State of California. The $35 million is dispersed to new California business owners in $5,000 or $10,000 increments. Completing an in-depth business education program is required of business owners before they can apply for a Dream fund grant.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners will complete an intensive training program offered by an approved center, such as the Ready, Set, Launch! program offered by Access Plus Capital.
After completing the education program, filing the state-required business formation documents, and completing a business “opening activity” (such as hiring an employee, opening a business banking account, making a business purchase, or making your first sale) new businesses will be eligible to apply for the Dream Fund grant with Lendistry through a separate application process. A code from the training center will be required to submit the Lendistry application.
If you have any questions about this process please call Pamela Mostert at (559) 263-1361 or email email@example.com
Making Moves is Access Plus Capital’s state-approved Dream Fund education program. Each participant will be expected to attend at least 10 classes and complete assignments in their course workbook. Each participant will also be scheduled for one-on-one coaching sessions. The program is 12 consecutive weeks long, with an additional optional week scheduled as a make-up session. The classes are held in the evening over Zoom and are 90 minutes long.
Although the workbook and application forms are in English, instruction and workbook translation into other languages is available. Please contact Pamela Mostert at (559) 263-1361 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request translation services.
You can only miss two classes during the 12-week program, meaning those admitted into the Ready, Set, Launch! program must attend at least 10 of the 12 weekly sessions. There is one make-up class scheduled.
The classes are 90 minutes long (about 1.5 hours) each week through Zoom.
Classes will be via Zoom.
There is no charge to apply for the Dream Fund grant or the pre-requisite educational program. Access Plus Capital’s Ready, Set, Launch! Entrepreneurial training program is free.
Registering your business means having filed entity documents:
- For a corporation or S corporation, you would have filed Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws.
- For a limited liability company or LLC, you would have filed your Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement.
- For a Limited Partnership or General Partnership, you would have filed a Partnership Agreement.
- As a Sole Proprietor, you would have filed a Fictitious Business Name Statement or a city business license.
Participation in the Training Program does not guarantee an award of the grant. Determination of being awarded the grant is based upon the items listed in the eligibility criteria including any valid supporting documentation and successful completion of the training program.
The program was created to provide seed money to start-up and new businesses. If you are not sure if your existing business can be considered “new” or not, call Pamela Mostert at (559) 263-1361 for help making the determination.
Priority will be given to minority, underserved, low-wealth, veteran, and women-owned businesses in the following three industries: e-commerce, service, brick and mortar.
To be eligible to receive the grant you must:
- Be considered a new business (established after July 2019)
- Have a written business plan and budget.
- Have completed an approved education program such as Ready, Set, Launch!
- Have performed at least one “opening activity”
Before you can apply for the California Dream Fund grant with Lendistry you MUST be accepted into AND complete our Making Moves program OR a training program at another participating center. Click the “apply now” button above to be considered for admission into Making Moves. Once you have completed the 12-week program, we will help you apply for the Dream Fund Grant.
You can only receive the Dream Fund grant once. Although you could potentially participate in more than one organization’s program, we ask that you do not. Only a limited number of spots are available in each program and if you are accepted and enrolled at two agencies, it means another business owner has been denied the opportunity to participate in the program and earn eligibility to receive a grant.
After you complete the program, you can only receive one grant.
The curriculum is written anticipating you have no experience in owning a business or business knowledge. There is required weekly reading and homework to be completed before the next class that will build off each other in completing a business plan.
The California Dream Fund Program is funded by the State of California and administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA). Eligibility criteria applies.