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SBA Awards Two Wisconsin Organizations $396,000 in PRIME Grant Funds to Help Emerging Micro-Entrepreneurs Gain Access to Capital

Nationally, SBA Awards $5.2 Million to 27 Organizations to Provide Technical Assistance and Training to Economically Disadvantaged Businesses
Release Date: 
Friday, September 3, 2021
Release Number: 
Shirah Apple,

Two Wisconsin nonprofits are receiving funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide direct technical assistance to low-income entrepreneurs and help them get financing to establish and expand their small businesses through the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs, more commonly known as PRIME.  

The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. will use its PRIME award of $200,000 to provide technical assistance, training, and technology to low-income and other disadvantaged micro entrepreneurs to strengthen and expand businesses, creating and retaining jobs for disadvantaged individuals. Geographically, WWBIC’s focus will include HUBZone census tracts and Opportunity Zones in the cities of Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, Appleton, Green Bay, Beloit and La Crosse, and in Crawford, Grant, La Crosse, Juneau, Monroe, Adams, Richland, Vernon, Florence, Forest, Langlade, Marinette, Oconto, Shawano, and other designated areas.

With its PRIME award of $196,000, Advocap will help to educate new and existing low-income  entrepreneurs.  The agency will provide training, technical assistance, best practice advice, and support for businesses facing hardships in rural Fond du Lac, Green Lake, and Winnebago Counties in central Wisconsin.

“The Biden-Harris Administration and Congress have worked together tirelessly to ensure our nation's small businesses have the resources they need to survive this pandemic and build back better,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “This year, SBA focused our PRIME grant selection process on our nonprofit partners who can best bring federal resources to life, especially in the regions and communities where they are needed most. I look forward to partnering with these organizations as they help us connect America’s entrepreneurs with the capital they need to start and grow their enterprises.”

For 2021, the SBA placed special emphasis on projects designed to offer training and technical assistance to strengthen economically disadvantaged businesses, particularly those projects serving entrepreneurs in Opportunity Zones, rural areas and Historically Underutilized Business Zones. This year’s 27 PRIME grant recipients represent 17 states and the District of Columbia and 15 provide services in Opportunity Zones and 12 provide services in HUBZones.

“SBA’s latest awards to these multi-year PRIME grantees in Wisconsin will expand their support to  low-income entrepreneurs throughout the state at this critical juncture,” says Eric Ness, SBA’s district director for Wisconsin. “As small businesses adjust and recover from the worst of the pandemic, having local partners that can provide hands-on advising as well as training and tech support is more important than ever.”

This year more than 100 organizations applied for PRIME grants, which range from $75,000 to $250,000, and typically require at least 50% in matching funds or in-kind contributions. PRIME was created by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999. Grant funds will be made available on September 30, 2021, and the project period for each grant is one year.



About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more visit