BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland Department of Labor this week announced that the department is now accepting proposals to help organizations provide entrepreneurship development opportunities for current and formerly incarcerated individuals.
The opportunities will be provided through a combination of nationally-recognized training and direct access to business financing. Proposals will be due on Friday, July 17, 2023, and awards will be made in October of 2023.
In 2022, the Maryland General Assembly enacted The Maryland New Start Act, which established the New Start Grant Program within the Maryland Department of Labor. Recognizing that Marylanders transitioning back to the community following incarceration often face barriers to building economic security, this competitive grant requires applicants to connect returning citizens to meaningful entrepreneurship training and small business financing.
“Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool that can help returning citizens create financial stability while also generating new jobs and economic growth across the State,” said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Portia Wu. “This initiative embodies the Department of Labor’s goal of creating opportunity for all Marylanders.”
Grant awards are capped at $60,000 and are expected to last one year with an option to renew annually. Successful applicants must demonstrate their ability to implement a nationally recognized entrepreneurship training model, host a business plan pitch competition, and provide executive mentoring to program participants.
A pre-proposal conference will be held virtually on Friday, April 21, 2023 at 10:00 AM.
A link to the solicitation and application is available online here.