California Dream Fund

About The Program

The Dream Fund has seen incredible amounts of interest, and grants are awarded based on funding availability and eligibility. Due to an overwhelming amount of interest in the program, not all applicants that are eligible will receive funding at this time. Receiving a code, submitting an application and/or being fully validated does not guarantee an applicant will receive a grant award.

The California Dream Fund Grant Program is funded by the State of California and administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) in conjunction with the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce. Eligibility criteria applies.

The California Dream Fund Grant Program was created in 2021 by Senate Bill No. 151 to provide microgrants up to $10,000 to seed entrepreneurship and small business creation in underserved small business groups that are facing capital and opportunity gaps.

The Dream Fund is intended to seed entrepreneurship, fill opportunity gaps for underserved small business owners to help them reach greater parity in startups, initial revenue creation, and job creation. The purpose of the funding is to provide financial support and seed entrepreneurship married with technical assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs in underserved business groups, including businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, individuals without documentation, individuals with limited English proficiency, and business owners located in low-wealth and rural communities.

Qualified and selected applicants will be placed in a Cohort based upon eligibility criteria and first come, first serve basis.

Once determined eligible, qualified and selected applicants will be required to attend a Cohort training series. Upon successful completion of the Cohort training program, each graduate will receive a graduation certificate and will then be able to apply for their grant funding through Lendistry.

Applications are closed.
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Eligibility Requirements

  • Each participating entrepreneur must complete a defined small business/entrepreneurship curriculum and one-on-one counseling
  • Each participating entrepreneur must have established a legal business entity after July 1, 2019.
    • ​Have submitted required documentation to start the business in the State of California, or have proof that your business has begun the registration process for a business license/permit in the State of California before completion of your cohort training program.
  • Each participating entrepreneur must meet the definition of a new business start by fulfilling the following conditions:
    • Has acquired the necessary permits and licenses to operate legally AND at least one of the following:
      • Has made a first sale*
      • Has hired at least 1 employee (must be a W2 employee)
      • Has created a business banking relationship
      • Has obtained capital for the business
      • Has spent money on business expenses; this may include legal and accounting fees*
  • Meet the definition of a small business, defined as a business with 5 full-time equivalent employees or less and $1 million or less in annual receipts.
  • Each participating entrepreneur must agree to report on the progress of their business and use of grant funding to the SB TAEP Center where they received their training for at least one year or until the business is no longer operating

*Preferred qualifying events

Got questions? Read our Frequently Asked Questions Sheet.
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Selection Time

Grant application opens – November 23, 2022

Grant application closes – November 27, 2022*, or once 50 applications have been received, whichever comes first. *This deadline is subject to change.

Applications will be time-stamped and will be prioritized on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Priority will be given to minority businesses, underserved, low-wealth, veteran, and women-owned businesses.

Selected grants will be notified the week of November 28, 2022.

TAEP grantee technical assistance cohort period:

Cohort 1: April 5, 2022 – June 7, 2022

Cohort 2: June 2022 – September 2022

Cohort 3: September 2022 – November 2022

Cohort 4: December 2022

All grantees must complete required technical assistance.

Training Program

  • (10) 60-minute virtual training sessions.
  • Topics include:
    • Introduction to Business Development and Management
    • Marketing and Sales
    • Risk Management & Liability
    • Financial Management & Credit
    • Access to Capital and Financing
  • Selected participants will be assigned a business advisor to complete their business plan.
  • Selected participants are expected to complete all 10 training sessions and assignments through virtual participation within the timeline of their respective cohort.

Usage of Dream Fund Grant

A business owner who is a recipient of a grant pursuant to statute to self-certify that grant funds will be used for one or more of the following eligible uses the following:

Grant Amounts

Grants are to be allocated in two amounts by business type.



Childcare – Operating in-home

Small Lab/Makers Space

Service/Professional/Cottage Industry

Brick-and-mortar business (operating under a sub-lease and not primary occupant, co-working space, etc.)

Construction Trade (unlicensed non-general contractor and other subcontractors without license)

Transportation (semitruck, towing truck, freight site dispatching, broker, etc.)


Childcare – Operating in a Commercial Space

Brick-and-mortar business (must have a fully executed master lease, sub-lease for which business is primary occupant, or letter of intent in a commercial space. Must be operating a storefront, commercial space, etc.)

Green Technology/Infrastructure business creating a scalable technology-based company where funds will be utilized for IP, prototype development, or to create a proof of concept through R&D

Manufacturing business (must have fully executed lease in commercial space)

Professional (non-consulting)/Scientific/Technical business creating a scalable technology company where funds will be utilized for IP, prototype development, or to create a proof of concept through R&D

Construction Trades (general contractor, major subcontractor, or other construction trade (e.g., plumbing, electrical, etc.) operating under a valid applicable license

Agriculture, Wildlife Mitigation/Forestry (either a procurement or other contracting business operating under a state or federal certification from a relevant government body (e.g., U.S. Forestry Service, CalOES, USDA, etc.) or other farming business)

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