We are committed to enabling individuals from financially disadvantaged communities to pave their way to economic security through entrepreneurship. We recognize that not everyone has access to equal opportunities, and that's why we strive to empower under-resourced entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and realize their dreams.
Our hometown of Buffalo, NY has many nicknames, but we've always felt "the city of good neighbors" to be the most accurate representation of the soul of the city.
It is a diverse community that has endured heartache and tragedy, yet always rallies to help its neighbors.
We couldn't think of a more fitting name for our organization.
GNF is a giving circle: a small, diverse group that shares a passion for entrepreneurship, community, and empowerment.
We pool our knowledge, resources, and networks to award micro-grants to inspiring founders. We are 100% volunteer-led with no overhead, meaning all contributions go toward our mission.
This isn't venture capital and we expect no return on investment. We're here to help incredible people build incredible things.
We award $1,000 micro-grants to selected pitches every quarter. Our Y1 Spring selection will take place on 3.30.23.
To be considered, fill out an application and include a 60-second pitch video (estimated time: 10-15 minutes).
Our LPs will review all submissions and cast their votes; the pitch with the most votes wins. Multiple awards may be available, in which they will be awarded by ranked voting.
We will contact the winner to arrange a handoff of funds. Winners will be included in our portfolio section and added to our exclusive Slack channel with our LPs.
Entrepreneurs of all ages and all walks of life.
Founders from under-represented communities.
Individuals or small teams that have an idea for a business, looking for validation and capital to kick it off.
The under-resourced founder.
Businesses of all types: local business, high-growth startup ideas, "sweaty" entrepreneurship, you name it.
Business ideas that you're still brainstorming and prototyping.
You understand the problem you're looking to solve.
You have a clear outline of how you will use the $1,000. We want to see it make the biggest impact in helping you get your dream off the ground.
Passion in your pitch video.
Personal use or self-promotion. Examples: home renovation, utility bills, professional training, etc.
Projects that are not sustainable businesses. Examples: writing a novel, painting a mural, cleaning up a park, etc.
Established companies. If you're generating revenue or have raised outside funding, we're likely not a fit.
Other charitable organizations, we want to directly fund entrepreneurs.
We do not accept consulting business applications at this time.
Unclear use of the $1,000, be as specific as possible!
No pitch video. We want to see the real you pitching your idea!
There is no catch. All micro-grants are unconditional awards to empower you to take the first step into starting your business. When you win, the community wins.
We don't stop at micro-grants. We want to ensure our founders are set up for success and ready to start their entrepreneurial journey.
Through our LPs and organizational partners, we match founders with the resources they need to succeed: key intros, program and accelerator matching, mentorship, and more.
Read what others are saying about GNF.
We are powered by BootSector, a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to empower, educate, and support the next generation of local entrepreneurs and startup leaders. Learn more about BootSector at www.joinbootsector.com.
Each month we highlight a difference maker in the community, along with updates on our awardees, announcements, and invites to exclusive events.