Apply now for a Ward 7 and 8 Microbusiness Dream Grant


The Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) is excited to announce that we will be soliciting applications for the Fall 2018 Ward 7 and 8 Microbusiness Dream Grants starting November 1, 2018. 

The grants are to provide business development support to the growth of microbusinesses with fewer than five (5) employees located in Ward 7 or 8 for which residents of those Wards comprise 50% or more of the ownership of the business.

DSLBD intends to award up to fifteen (15) grants, of up $10,000 each, from the $125,000 in total available funding for fall 2018.

How do I apply?

For additional guidance please see the Request for Applications (RFA) attached below. 


The deadline to apply online is January 11, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Applications will only be accepted through the online application system.

Who can apply?

New or existing microbusinesses with fewer than five (5) full time employees located in Ward 7 or 8 for which residents of the comprise 50% or more of the ownership of the business are eligible. See the Request for Applications for additional eligibility requirements.

How can the funds be used?

The grants can support provide startup or expansion efforts for expenses made by the business October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.  Examples of allowable and disallowed uses are detailed in the RFA linked to above.

How will awardees be selected?

Grant recipients will be selected through a competitive application process.  All applications from eligible applicants received on or before the deadline will be forwarded to an independent review panel to be evaluated, scored, and ranked based on the following criteria: 

  1. Capacity and Experience of the Applicant  (25 points)

  2. Strength of the Business Plan (25 points)

  3. Financial Viability of Applicant (25 points)

  4. Creativity and Innovation (25 points)

A program team will review the recommendations.  The Director of DLSBD will make the final determination of grant awards. Grantees will be selected by March 1, 2019. 


We encourage interested applicants to attend an Application Information Session. Please refer to the RFA for the most accurate information about the date, time and location of this meeting. 

Questions may be sent to Kate Mereand at the Department of Small and Local Business Development at Katherine.Mereand-Sinha@dc.govAll questions must be submitted in writing. 


DSLBD reserves the right to issue addenda and/or amendments subsequent to the issuance of this Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) or RFA, or to rescind the NOFA or RFA at any time.