As the executive director of Founders First Community Development Corporation, Shaylon Scott’s goal is not only to expand the mission and vision of the company across the U.S., by helping diverse small businesses be more successful, but to ensure that these companies have support through access to connections, financial assistance and education.
How did the organization develop?
Kim Wilson is the CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, which is our for-profit entity that has the ability to provide revenue-based funding or financing to small businesses, which is that financial component. She is a seventh-time serial entrepreneur; she’s had million-dollar companies and has always been either in tech or in software. All through her experience in growing and trying to get the capital and the support she needed for her businesses, she came across the same barriers that a lot of small businesses do, and especially businesses of women and people of color that continue to exist.
She wanted to create a program and a business that supported not only the education, but also the financial component. It has been amazing to see the growth. We’ve been in existence for about six years and continue to expand place to place. As far as CDC, that’s a community development corporation. There are hundreds across the nation that do phenomenal work from affordable housing to their CDFIs, which are community development, financial institutions.
What programs do you offer to assist small businesses financially?
Once a year, we provide what’s called a Job Creators Quest Grant in each of the regions that we’re in. Right now, we’re in California, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Currently, we have a grant of $100,000, that will be provided for 30 businesses in Texas. You need to be a service-based business or have a service-based component, have two or more employees, have the ability to add new employees in the next year or two, as well as be able to have an interest in learning.
You can receive as much as $10,000, or as little as $1,500 as one of the 30 grantees, but it’s also paired with a seat in one of our accelerators. So, it’s not simply the funding, you get the education as well. It’s a package deal that’s available and open for businesses all across Texas to apply until July 25. You have plenty of time to apply and we even have our team that’s available to offer help.