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First Dollar Program

Providing Early-Stage Capital to Louisville's Black and Brown Entrepreneurs

First things first. It takes money to start a business.

When an individual has an idea for a new business, they turn to their savings, close family, or friends to help turn the idea into reality. But Black American households have a median net worth of just $12,920, less than one-tenth of the median net worth of white American households. Both Black and Brown entrepreneurs are substantially less likely to have the financial capital available in their social networks to fund the creation of new businesses, and the opportunity for wealth creation is stifled as a result.

Our mission is to support Black and Brown entrepreneurs in Louisville, KY to build generational wealth through successful business ownership.

Through the partnership, Render Capital provides critical “first dollar” grants to early-stage entrepreneurs who lack capital access due to historic and systemic inequality. The First Dollar program provides $5,000 grants to businesses at the earliest stage of business development—when capital investment is most critical.


In Total Grants




Community Partners


Our Partners

Through our partnership with four local, Black-led organizations, Render Capital is able to decentralize funding decisions and empower those who work closely with our target entrepreneurs to facilitate the disbursement of grant funds.

Focused on building economic wealth for the Black community through creative and intentional grant-making.

Focused on generating investments in the people and places that make the Russell neighborhood special.

Founder Forward works with underrepresented founders to build a community and access in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

Dedicated to assisting African Americans and marginalized populations in attaining social and economic equality.

First Dollar is made stronger with collaboration.

This program is made possible today through grant capital from our partners at Access Ventures, but we need your help to ensure the future of the program. Organizations interested in playing a role in growing the First Dollar program are encouraged to contact us.

Grant Recipients

AushaH First Dollar

Ausha Hilliman

Julee's Mocha

ElliotC First Dollar

Elliott Nicols

Mink Mutual Broadcasting

BaileyG First Dollar

Bailey Griffin

Bath Wonderland

EbonyC First Dollar

Ebony Campbell

Nubian Newborns

Heather Boyd First Dollar

Heather Boyd

HB's Soul Food Creations

Latasha Harrison First Dollar

Latasha Harrison

Ikon Media Group

Julian Thomas First Dollar

Julian Thomas

Vanguard, LLC (Black Heart Comic)

Zakiyya Madden First Dollar

Zakiyya Madden

Posh Beauty Studio

Jocelyn Clayborn First Dollar

Jocelyn Clayborn

Jahja's Fresh Beverages

Lakisha Morris First Dollar

Lakisha Morris

DaShe's Cakes and Treats

Keishanna Hughes First Dollar

Keishanna Hughes

The Source 502

Tracy Tarver First Dollar

Tracy Tarver

Mother's Cup

Nick Raymore First Dollar

Nick Raymore

Mink Mutual Broadcasting

Macy Williams First Dollar

Macy Williams

Happy Brown Girl

Talia Cooksey First Dollar

Talia Cooksey

Lending Hands Companion & Care

Marquel Lett First Dololar

Marquel Lett

Sequel Scents

Sherelle Gore First Dollar

Sherelle Gore

Gore's SmokeOut BBQ, LLC

Jealah Wilson First Dollar

Jealah Wilson

Pure Intent

Nicole Scott First Dollar

Nicole Scott

Nicole Scott, Inc.

Mahogany Livers First Dollar

Mahogany Livers

Mindful Moments

Dues 24

Vanessa Williams-Harvey

Kentucky Greens Co

Mike Jackson

Brite Trace

Dante Rice

Care 2 You 

Destinee Smith

Simply Selois

Selois Shead

TyQea Franchessca

TyQea Butler

The Herbal and Holistic Lifestyle 



Nicole Patterson

Gifts by Tiphanie

Tiphanie Grant

Love Thy Belly

Fairen Kia

Drick's Treats

Ter-Dricka Fresh

ALIVE Advocacy

Kayla Wiley

Daring Bliss Collection

Anaiyah Lacy

PLSix Porta Potty Rentals

Porsha Shoulders

Stay Mobile LLC

Ageyi Williams

Queenz With Brands, LLC

Ke'Asia Johnson-Bell

PhotoJeuneic Media, LLC

Betty Meunemartis

Keep Your Books, LLC

Courtney J. Winstead

Supporting Business Ownership from
the Very First Dollar