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First Dollar calendar    Jul 01, 2022

Second Annual First Dollar Program

Learn about the Second Annual First Dollar Program and its impact on the local community, as well as our mission to support Black and Brown entrepreneurs!

We are excited to announce our second annual First Dollar program, the program will help support Black and Brown entrepreneurs in the area by providing them with critical “first dollar” grants to help their startups thrive. 

“Not all entrepreneurs have equal access to capital to grow their businesses,”

Patrick Henshaw, Managing Director at Render Capital.

We are launching the second year of activity for The First Dollar program in collaboration with our founding partner Access Ventures, and will provide $5,000 grants to 20 local businesses at the earliest stage of business development, for a total contribution of $100,000 to the local community. Grant recipients will be for-profit organizations, located in Jefferson County, Kentucky or Clark and Floyd County, Indiana, that are seeking their first significant capital contribution. To determine which local startups will be funded, we have partnered with four local organizations – Louisville Urban League, Russell: A Place of Promise, GEDDI, and Amplify Louisville. Through this partnership, we are empowering those who work closely with Black and Brown entrepreneurs to facilitate the disbursement of grant funds. As part of the First Dollar program, the four partnering organizations have until the end of 2022 to distribute funds to the startups of their choosing.

The 20 entrepreneurs who received funding for their businesses in 2021 through the First Dollar Program include:


Because of the support from the First Dollar Program, many of these businesses have seen an increase in revenue and had a profitable year of business. “Business is doing great! I’ve added two new products and improved my marketing and customer retention. For the next couple of months I will push to gain more momentum and reach more people,” said Jaelah Wilson, Founder of Pure Intent.

“We are so proud to partner again with Render Capital’s First Dollar Program,” said Cherena Fox, GEDDI Program Director. “These grants are crucial to boost early business development and make a significant impact for emerging businesses, as well as the communities they serve.”

“Access Ventures is delighted to continue our funding of the First Dollar Program as a part of our larger regional capital initiative that aims to increase access to capital for excluded entrepreneurs locally,” said Bryce Butler, Managing Director of Access Ventures. “This program is a collaborative community effort and we invite any organization who is passionate about this work to join us.” Organizations interested in playing a role in The First Dollar program should email To learn more about the program, visit

We envision a robust and thriving regional economy where entrepreneurs see the Midwest and South as a place they can find appropriate risk capital necessary for them to start and grow.

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