NDSS and Voya Cares® Entrepreneur Grants

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ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and Voya Cares® are partnering to provide financial support to entrepreneurs with Down syndrome. One $10,000 grant is available for an individual with Down syndrome who wants to start their own business or invest more capital into their company.

The grant will be awarded this October, in celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The recipient will be chosen based on the creativity of their business plan, their goals for the future of their business and the impact they are making in their communities.

 

Additional Information

Eligibility Criteria

Applicant must:

  • Have Down syndrome
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Own a business or is starting their own business
  • Be a resident of the United States

Application Questions

To apply, please provide answers to the following questions:

  • Contact information for applicant and guardian or co-owner of the business
  • General information about the business
  • What was your vision for starting a business?  What drove your decisions?  Is your business about making money, providing employment, providing a service or product to the community, etc.?
  • What (if any) professionals were involved in setting up your business? Are they still advising you?
  • What client base are you looking to target your product or service towards?
  • Who are your competitors, and how are you going to differentiate yourself?
  • What are the most important things you would like to accomplish with your business (income, employment, community benefit, etc.)?
  • What have you learned about starting a business that you would do differently starting today?
  • Please submit 1-2 pictures of your product(s)/service(s).
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • Are you willing to give NDSS or Voya access to video or photos of your business for external use?
  • Have you previously received any other grants or funding for your business?
  • Who provided the startup money, and who, if any, are your other investors or funders currently?
  • When do you expect to become profitable?
  • Please provide your budget (income/expenses) for the business
  • What are your strategic goals with this grant funding? What percentage of your total income will this grant represent?
  • Do you plan on hiring other individuals with disabilities, and if so, how do you plan on accommodating them?
  • If transportation presents an issue in accommodations, how has it been a factor in starting your business or in your plan for this grant?
  • Have you had any previous job experience?
  • Describe your company’s values and commitment to community service, if applicable?
  • Do you currently have any other jobs? If yes, please describe.
  • Why would this grant be important to you?
  • Is there anything else you would like the selection committee to know about you or your business?
  • Please attach at least two photos of the individual with Down syndrome working.

Grant Funding

  • One individual with Down syndrome will receive a $10,000 grant.

Application Deadlines

You should complete the application as independently as possible.

All applications must be submitted by September 20, 2021

Notification

You will receive an email confirmation that we received your application. If you have any questions about completing the application, please contact Colleen Hatcher at chatcher@ndss.org