California Dream Fund

About The Program

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 and the Sacramento Minority Business Development Agency Business Center. 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.
Once determined eligible, qualified and selected applicants will be required to attend 1 of 3 Cohort training series.
Qualified and selected applicants will be placed in Cohort 1 based upon eligibility criteria and first come, first serve basis. If you are not accepted into Cohort 1, qualified and selected applicants will be placed on a waitlist and will be notified of placement into Cohorts 2 and 3.

Application period is now closed.
Returning Applicants
Past Event
California Dream Fund Info Webinar

Join us for an introduction to the California Dream Fund Grant Program as we provide an overview of the selection time, training program, usage of the Dream Fund Grant, requirements to receive grant funding, and eligibility requirements. Following the overview, the team will host 15-minute Q&A, so come prepared with questions.

Friday, March 18 202210:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT

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 on or 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 selected 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.
Download FAQ Sheet

Selection Time

Grant application opens – March 14, 2022

Grant application closes – March 25, 2022, or once 300 applications have been submitted, whichever comes first.

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 March 28, 2022

TAEP grantee technical assistance cohort period:

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

Cohort 2: June 2022 (Dates TBD)

Cohort 3: September 2022 (Dates TBD)

All grantees must complete required technical assistance and funds must be dispersed to qualifying small businesses no later than December 30, 2022.

Training Program

  • (10) 60–90-minute virtual training sessions every Tuesday starting at 12:00pm PST.
  • Topics include:
  • Introduction to Business Development and Management
    • Marketing and Sales
    • Risk Management & Liability
    • Financial Management & Credit
    • Access to Capital and Financing
  • Selected grantees will be assigned a business advisor to provide guidance and support during the program.
  • Selected grantees are expected to complete all 10 training sessions 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:

Requirements to Receive Grant Funding

Grant application opens – March 14, 2022

Grant application closes – March 25, 2022, or once 300 applications have been submitted, whichever comes first.

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 March 28, 2022

TAEP grantee technical assistance cohort period:

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

Cohort 2: June 2022 (Dates TBD)

Cohort 3: September 2022 (Dates TBD)

All grantees must complete required technical assistance and funds must be dispersed to qualifying small businesses no later than December 30, 2022.

Grant Amounts

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

$5,000

Agriculture, Wildfire Mitigation/Forestry

E-Commerce/Marketplace

Service/Cottage Industry

Small Lab/Makers Space

$10,000

Brick-and-Mortar

Childcare

Construction Trades

Green Technology/Infrastructure

Manufacturing

Professional/Scientific/Technical

Get the PDF On-The-Go

Get all the information you need with you for offline use and on-the-go. Feel free to download a PDF version by clicking the button below.

Download As PDF