Entrepreneurs’ Funding Program
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own business and need help doing so, or if you already have an existing business and are seeking funding to grow your business, Guard Support can help. If you had to close your business due to deployment, we can help you to restart your business.
We are providing business planning education and training, seed and expansion capital, and expert support and advisement to businesses started by members of the Massachusetts National Guard and/or their spouses.
Applicants must complete the Entrepreneurs’ Funding Application and submit it along with a completed business plan. The business plan in its entirety, including financial statements or projections, along with the Entrepreneurs’ Funding Application must be submitted together for funding consideration. Applications submitted without a completed business plan will be denied. (If the applicant does not have a business plan, he/she can apply for the Entrepreneurs’ Education and Training Grant , and if approved, the business plan writing course would be paid for by Guard Support. Upon completion of the course, the applicant will have completed a business plan.)
Criteria for Eligibility
Applicants for both the Entrepreneurs’ Education and Training Grant and the Entrepreneurs’ Funding Program (EFP) must be a member of the Massachusetts National Guard in good standing who has not yet ended his/her term of service, or the spouse of a member of the Massachusetts National Guard in good standing who has not yet ended his/her term of service.
Entrepreneurs’ Funding Program (EFP)
Guard Support will provide seed and expansion capital to businesses founded by members of the Massachusetts National Guard and/or their spouses. Funds will be used to launch start-up companies and to fund the growth of existing companies. The EFP will provide long-term low interest loans of $10,000-$40,000 to qualifying businesses. Entrepreneurs will receive expert advice from advisors and other business experts over the course of the funding relationship. With experts drawn from the local business, legal and accounting communities, Guard Support will put together a team to serve as an Advisory Committee to each company that the Fund invests in. Supporters to date include corporate and local bank foundations, Alder Foods, Goodwin Procter, Odyssey Systems Consulting Group, SixSeeds, Ascent Venture Partners, The AMG Foundation, the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network, and individuals.
Entrepreneurs’ Education and Training Grant
Guard Support will provide business planning education and training grants to eligible applicants. Eligible education and training programs include business plan writing and other entrepreneurship courses and programs offered by Guard Support's partners. Guard Support's education and training partners include the SBA Massachusetts Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), SCORE, “Counselors to America’s Small Business”, the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network, The EntreTech Forum, and the Center for Women & Enterprise. Interested applicants must complete the Entrepreneurs’ Education and Training Grant Application for grant consideration.
Funding Consideration Process
Your EFP application and business plan will be provided to the EFP Review Team for review consideration at our next funding round. The EFP Review Team may be comprised of Guard Support board members, the Executive Director, funders, and volunteer experts in business and entrepreneurial ventures. The EFP Review Team will provide funding recommendations to Guard Support's Board of Directors for final review and consideration. Contact Sherry Handel, Executive Director for more information about the EFP and to inquire when our next funding round is scheduled. Sherry Handel can be reached at 617-848-8868, or via email at .
- Business Readiness Guide for the Deploying Soldier
- Mass. SBA Small Business Development Center Network
- SCORE, “Counselors to America’s Small Business”
- Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network
- The EntreTech Forum
- Center for Women & Enterprise
“In light of the current economic environment and the tremendous contributions and sacrifices made by the members and families of the Massachusetts National Guard, the partners at Ascent Venture Partners decided to make a meaningful contribution in support of the efforts of Guard Support of Massachusetts.
— Ascent Venture Partners