Become Dream Fund eligible with Sueños Grandes by Access Plus Capital

Para obtener información en español, llame al (559) 263-1351.

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Sueños Grandes: A Unique Program for New and Starting Hispanic-Owned Businesses Wanting to Grow from Home-Based to a “Brick and Mortar” Space

Access Plus Capital is proud to announce its participation in the California Dream Fund grant program as an authorized training center. Our intensive Ready, Set, Launch!: Sueños Grandes program satisfies the mandatory business education requirements outlined by the State of California, and those who successfully complete the Sueños Grandes program will be eligible to apply for the $5,000 or $10,000 Dream Fund grant. 

 

Sueños Grandes is an 8-week business success program built upon our Ready, Set, Launch! curriculum with a special emphasis on issues impacting rural, immigrant, bi-lingual, and non-English speaking entrepreneurs. 

 

Our intensive Sueños Grandes 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 Sueños Grandes will be eligible to apply for the $5,000 or $10,000 Dream Fund grant. 

 

In the video above, Ernest Ramirez, Business Development Analyst for Access Plus Capital, explains these requirements and the Ready, Set, Launch! course in detail. 

 

Aspiring entrepreneurs and new small business owners looking to receive the Dream Fund seed money should apply to this pre-requisite entrepreneurial training course by completing the application found on this webpage.

 

Para obtener información en español, llame al (559) 263-1351.

Important Dates:

September 1-9: Application window for Sueños Grandes

September 26: Selected applications notified

September 29 – November 17: 8-week Sueños Grandes weekly classes

Apply Now

Eligibility for California Dream Fund Grant Program

Para obtener información en español, llame al (559) 263-1351

  • Attend and graduate Access Plus Capital’s Sueños Grandes Entrepreneurship Training Program or another entrepreneurship training program offered by a center approved by the State of California.
  • For Sueños Grandes you must attend 8 weekly 2-hour 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 the 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.

Disclaimer

Participation in APC’s Sueños Grandes 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 Sueños Grandes training program or a training program offered by another approved facility.

Application Timeline

  • September 1: APC Sueños Grandes program applications open
  • September 9: APC application window closes
  • Applications received by APC will be evaluated and scored by a judging panel.
  • September 22: Selections Complete
  • September 26: Applicants selected for Sueños Grandes are notified.
  • September 29 – November 17: The Sueños Grandes program; 8 sessions total and host a 2-hour class

 

In addition to finishing the Sueños Grandes 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.

Apply for Sueños Grandes

Click the button below to apply for admission into Access Plus Capital’s Sueños Grandes program. 

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 Sueños Grandes

Ready, Set, Launch!: Sueños Grandes 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 Sueños Grandes 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

What is the Sueños Grandes Program?

Sueños Grandes is Access Plus Capital’s state-approved Dream Fund education program. Each participant will be expected to attend 8 weekly 2-hour classes and complete assignments in their course workbook. Each participant will also be scheduled for one-on-one coaching sessions. The program is 8 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 2 hours long.

How do I get the money?

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 pamela.mostert@accesspluscapital.com

What is the the Sueños Grandes Program?

Sueños Grandes 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.

Is the program available in other languages?

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 pamela.mostert@accesspluscapital.com to request translation services.

How long are the classes?

The classes are 2 hours long each week through Zoom.

Where will the classes be held?

Classes will be via Zoom.

How much does it cost?

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.

What does it mean to “register my business”?

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.

Once I finish the course, am I guaranteed to get the grant?

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.

Am I eligible for the Dream Fund?

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:

  1. Be considered a new business (established after July 2019)
  2. Have a written business plan and budget.
  3. Have completed an approved education program such as Ready, Set, Launch!
  4. Have performed at least one “opening activity”

How do I apply for the Dream Fund?

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.

Can I participate in more than one program at more than one agency?

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.

How many Dream Fund grants can I get?

After you complete the program, you can only receive one grant.

How intense is the training?

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.