The program is designed to help underprivileged individuals become entrepreneurs
A grant program set up in Oregon to help turn minorities into entrepreneurs is gaining traction. The NuLeaf Project is now accepting applications for grants in order to help individuals start there own business and also to better understand the industry. Helping their effort, the organization recently received $150,000 from Prosper Portland, a public economic development agency.
NuLeaf, which was started by Jeannette Ward Horton and Jesce Horton, is offering two programs, NuFuel and NuSchool. NuFuel awards grants from $5,000 to $3,000 to businesses getting started and NuSchool is an educational facility that provides business mentoring, technical expertise and additional educational topics related to the marijuana industry. Says Ward Horton, “The U.S. cannabis industry is projected to be worth $25 billion by 2020. Oregon is over a $600 million market alone. We can’t wait to fund and educate exceptional Portland businesses so they can earn a piece of this market. Economic justice in the cannabis industry means people of color also build wealth from the legalization of this plant.”
In order to qualify, applicants must have their businesses headquartered in Portland and at least 51% of the operation must be owned by people of color. NuLeaf focuses on minorities because the demographic segment has been marginalized by the business sector.
Prosper Portland’s executive director, Kimberly Branam, said, “The NuLeaf Project will assist between 10 and 20 businesses with services like accounting and tax advice, one-on-one business development, and training workshops. This aligns well with our mission to create economic growth and opportunity for Portland.”