BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — A Baltimore entrepreneurship group has announced that it is participating in a small business grant program that will award $2 million to black female business owners.

The Women Entrepreneur Leadership Lab, also known as the WELL, is joining Reimagine Main Street to award the Backing Black Business grant program funding in cash grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to more than 200 black women entrepreneurs.

The grant project also has support from Meta, the parent company of Facebook.

“This is huge,” said Nakeia Drummond, founder of the WELL. “We’re really excited about the approach to this which is to bring those grants into and put them in the hands of organizations that are working for and with black women every day.”\

Drummond’s organization has been helping black women navigate the challenges of building and growing a small business since 2018. It brings members together to talk about the issues they have faced, to share ideas, to network and get them access to more capital.

“I see these grants as seeds. A lot of us don’t have that seed round of funding where friends and family are able to just pour into you in that way,” said Drummond.

A founding member of the WELL, Ashley Rock Wylie applied for the grant program to help her floral shop, Fleurs d’Ave, grow even more.

“The goal of that grant is to help small black-owned businesses, women-owned businesses with more tools, more resources, learning how to manage your finances better, and some marketing and sales strategies, so I’m excited about that,” she said.

Black female entrepreneurs who meet the grant program’s criteria have to apply for the funding by Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

Criteria for the grant:

  1. A business that operates in the United States
  2. A business launched PRIOR TO July 1, 2021
  3. A business that is legal and for-profit
  4. A business has generated at least $10,000 in revenue since January 2021
  5. Applicant is able and willing to document your revenue
  6. Applicant was at least 18 years old on June 30, 2020
  7. Applicant identifies as a Black, African-American, or African woman
  8. A panel of judges will review submissions in January 2022, and grants will be awarded to winners and finalists in February 2022.

To apply visit: https://www.reimaginemainstreet.org/backing-black-business

To learn more about the WELL, visit https://www.thewellnetwork.us/

Stetson Miller