14 North Texas Businesses Land Founders First CDC Grant Funding to Grow Their Workforces

Fourteen local businesses led by diverse founders have landed a financial boost to build out their teams.

With the goal of helping underserved business owners grow their businesses while bolstering the local economy, nonprofit Founders First CDC has announced the Texas-based recipients of its latest round of Job Creators Quest Grants. Nearly half of the 30 businesses are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“As the backbone of our economy, it’s critical that these business owners receive the help they need to maintain and sustain operations,” Shaylon Scott, executive director at Founders First CDC said in a statement. “We’re honored to offer additional funding to assist in their growth and the overall health of the communities they serve.”

Building up diverse entrepreneurs

The nonprofit—affiliated with San Diego-based finance and advisory investment platform Founders First Capital Partners, which has offices in Dallas— said the recipients will collectively receive $100,000 in cash and full-tuition scholarships to its business accelerator program, aimed at empowering the “expansion of diverse founder-led, revenue-generating businesses.”

Businesses awarded with the grants will use the funding to help create one to two “premium wage jobs” over the next year.

The grants target industries ranging from health care and hospitality to STEM and manufacturing. In order to qualify for the grants—which more than 2,500 businesses in the Lone Star State applied for—founders needed to be a person of color, indigenous, LGBTQIA+, a military veteran, or a woman with a for-profit business in a “low to moderate income area.” Businesses also needed to show annual revenues between $100,000 and $3 million.

Founders First Capital Partners landed a $100M credit facility last year

Funding for the Job Creator Quest effort came from a $1 million Rockefeller Foundation grant, in addition to financing from an $11 million Series A funding round led by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Surdna Foundation that Founders First Capital Partners raised last February.

That funding came on the heels of the investment platform landing a $100 million credit facility from Community Investment Management. It said it intended to use the facility to provide non-dilutive, revenue-based financing to underrepresented founders with check sizes averaging around $250,000.

“Diverse entrepreneurs are pivotal to the success of their communities, as they provide accessible goods and services, and create jobs,” Patrice Green, interim director of inclusive economies at the Surdna Foundation, said in a statement. “Yet, they oftentimes struggle due to limited access to networks and the financing necessary to stay afloat.”

A new opportunity for veteran founders

Founders First CDC initially launched the Job Creator Quest Grant program in 2021 to help businesses amid the pandemic, specifically targeting areas like Texas, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Southern California.

In addition to unveiling the latest batch of grant recipients, Founders First CDC also announced a new grant opportunity, called the Stephen L. Tadlock Fund, to help veteran-owned businesses. It said it plans to make investments in 25 veteran-owned small businesses, with a deadline to apply by October 18.

Meet the local winners of Founder First CDC’s Job Creator Quest Grants

  • Society Restaurants (DBA The Empanada) (Allen)
  • Joel Michael Enterprises (Arlington)
  • Capital City Mortgage (Cedar Hill)
  • Hatch Venture Group (Dallas)
  • READYTOWORK (Dallas)
  • Cimone Key Creative Studio (Dallas)
  • Safer Management (Dallas)
  • Allied Supply Chain Support & Services (Dallas)
  • BLACKLIT (Farmers Branch)
  • 1 US Construction (Flower Mound)
  • Annie Admin Virtual Assistants (Fort Worth)
  • Newhouse Transportation Services (Fort Worth)
  • North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Training (North Richland Hills)
  • Scratchmenot (Richardson)


Additional partners for the recent Job Creator Quest Grants include ADP, Black Enterprise Magazine, JP Morgan Chase, The Kauffman Foundation, African American Chamber of San Antonio, Bank OZK, BCL of Texas, Dallas BUILD Network, Divinc, Dallas Fort Worth MSDC, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sesh Coworking, Impact Ventures, ICIC, Houston Hispanic Network, Lift Fund, PeopleFund, Margin Institute, Mogul Millennial, Surdna Foundation, The Common Desk, The DEC, The Mass Challenge, INNW, Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center, and the Women’s Business Council and Wisdom Consulting.

“The road back is a long one for local small businesses hit hard by the pandemic. To recover, grow and thrive, access to capital is critical,” Michelle Thomas, executive director and head of philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase in Texas, said in a statement. “Together, we will support these entrepreneurs and their mission to expand. Their success is critical to the prosperity of underserved communities.”

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