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MBE Inner City Innovation Hubs Grant

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, IHEs, and Agencies
to Support Minority-Owned Businesses in Urban Communities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Commerce - Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

Deadline Date:

05/15/20 11:59 PM EDT


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, for-profits, IHEs, and local, state, and quasi-government entities for services that support urban businesses owned by individuals from minority groups. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Organizations that are owned or controlled by the following persons or groups of persons are the organizations that are considered MBEs for the purpose of this BAA: African-American, Hispanic-American, American Asian and Pacific Islander, Native American (including Alaska Natives, Alaska Native Corporations and Tribal entities), Asian Indian American, and Hasidic Jewish American.

Applications responding to this announcement must present projects that support start-up businesses and established entrepreneurs in inner cities and urban areas in a U.S. state or U.S. territory with high concentrations of minority populations and minority business enterprises. These service models should be designed to assist minority businesses on a regional basis dependent upon the location of the hub (e.g., North East, Mid-Atlantic, South East and Mid-West and North West, South West, Mid-West, and Pacific regions). Applicants may propose and define the regional service area. 

The following program priorities should be considered in an application for an award under this Announcement:

a) Collaborative workspaces (Hubs) – Applicants should submit proposals that create a collaborative working space for individual and group clients and other business development interests. Start-up and growth-based firms with access to shared working spaces co-located with other firms and business development organizations will benefit from the reduced overhead and administrative costs. Co-located spaces will provide applicants with options for meeting rooms, client and partner offices, and working environments that capitalize on shared resources with economic development and corporate partnerships. These facilities and amenities can be shared among start-up and established firms, firms with innovative concepts and laboratories, and entrepreneurship projects. Projects may be located within HBCU or other institutions of higher education.

b) State, regional and local municipal/government partnerships – Executive Order 11625 allows MBDA to provide funding for partnerships with state, local, and regional governments and organizations that have projects designed to overcome the special challenges of minority business enterprises. Proposals under this Announcement may be combined with state, local or regional government and non-public organizations whose projects further minority entrepreneurship, minority business development, and inner-city economic development. 

c) Corporate Partnerships - Applications should include a description of the current corporate partnerships and partnership opportunities for mentor/protégé relationships, sponsorship and supplier diversity opportunities, and teaming opportunities.

d) Financing Resources – Applications should include at least one mechanism for referrals to provide financing resources to minority businesses of all sizes and categories. Collaborations with Community Funding Depository Institution (CFDI) and MinorityOwned Depository Institutions (MDI) funds, and minority fund management organizations, as well as, microlending, crowd sourcing, and other alternative financing mechanisms. 

e) Industry Focus – Projects may include a specific industry focus. MBDA welcomes projects focused on Administrative or agency priorities such as space commercialization, digital economy and e-commerce, technology, research and development for federal and private laboratory product development, and mergers and acquisitions. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 189440

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Award Ceiling: $700,000
Award Floor: $700,000

Term of Contract:

MBDA will issue awards for a two-year term from September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants: For-profit entities (including but not limited to sole-proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations), non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, commercial organizations, state and local government entities, quasi-government entities, Indian Tribal governments, Tribal entities, and Native Hawaiian entities in any U.S. State or U.S. Territory.

Pre-Application Information:

Full applications will be accepted in up to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on May 15, 2020. Applications received after this time will not be reviewed or considered for funding under this Announcement.

Potential applicants should begin registration early, as the complete registration process takes between three business days and three weeks. Before applying for a funding opportunity, your organization needs to register with and assign one or more Authorized Organization Representatives (AOR).

All application materials and forms are available at the website (
Applicants should anticipate receiving confirmation of successful submission within forty-eight (48) hours. It is imperative that applicants obtain this confirmation as proof of successful submission. Waiting to submit an application until the end of the competition period puts an application at risk; be sure to allow ample time.

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

Each applicant (unless the applicant is a Federal awarding agency which has an exception from the requirements of 2 CFR § 25.110(b) or (c), or an exception approved by the MBDA under 2 CFR § 25.110(d)) is required to:
(i) Register in SAM before submitting an application;
(ii) Provide a valid unique entity identifier in the application; and,
(iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by MBDA (or any other Federal agency).

MBDA shall conduct a mandatory post-award teleconference to ensure that the successful applicant has a clear understanding of the project award, terms, conditions and expectations.

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Nakita Chambers
MBDA Program Manager
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room 5079
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 202-482-0065

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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