Impact Partner Grant

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Call for Proposals What is an Impact Partner? Who is eligible for the Impact Partner Grant? Past Impact Partner Grant Recipients

The Impact Partner Grant provides funding to organizations that help underrepresented innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses start, stay, and grow in Raleigh.

Call for Proposals

With much consideration, and to support the response effort, the Office of Economic Development and Innovation has made the decision to suspend the application period for the Impact Partner Grant.

This decision will allow us to best deploy our resources to maximize their impact in supporting our small businesses at this moment.

Impact Partner Grant Making a Difference

What is an Impact Partner?

An Impact Partner is a community stakeholder that builds a successful, sustainable and vibrant business ecosystem.

Ecosystem Builders:

  • create an invisible infrastructure to allow entrepreneurs and small business owners to find resources needed to succeed
  • advocate for local entrepreneurs and their companies
  • bring these entrepreneurs and companies together in collaboration
  • challenge entrepreneurs to grow, and push everyone forward
  • are catalysts, connectors, co-creators, and changemakers.

For the purpose of the grant, we are using the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook to help inform our definition of an Impact Partner.

Who is eligible for the Impact Partner Grant?

Eligible sectors targeted by the program include:

  1. Technology and Internet of Things
  2. Consumer Packaged Goods and Products
  3. Design and Creative Industries
  4. Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals
  5. Social Impact and Social Innovation
  6. Professional Services
  7. Workforce Development
  8. Manufacturing and Distribution
  9. Transportation and Logistics
  10. Retail and retail-related services
  11. Non-Profit (non-religious programs)

Past Impact Partner Grant Recipients

Out of the 20 applications received five were identified as being a part of the first cohort and each received $25,000 for the implementation of their program or resource.

  • Bunker Labs received funding to create the Veterans in Residence (VIR) Program in Raleigh, an 11-week boot camp for entrepreneurs to go from the ideation of business to a business plan worth presenting to an investor. With leverage from the Impact Partner Grant, Bunker Labs was able to secure additional funding from Google and launch the Veteran in Residence Program.
  • District C used the grant funding to support Project 84/50, an effort to recruit 84 new entrepreneurs, including 50 underrepresented Raleigh-based entrepreneurs. District C has been highlighted by national outlets including Forbes and EdWeek.
  • Innovate Raleigh created a comprehensive ecosystem asset map and assessment tool, called the Triangle Innovation Hub, that will be used to demonstrate Raleigh’s robust innovation ecosystem. Being true connectors, Innovate Raleigh and District C collaborated to allow students from District C to help build the Triangle Innovation Hub website as part of an internship with Innovate Raleigh.
    NC RIoT diversified the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP), IoT Education, Smart City Coordination and Cluster Steering. The 2018 RAP Cohort created 78 new jobs and raised $3.5 million in capital.
  • Tech Talent South used the grant funding to create and run events to connect the area’s tech and entrepreneurial community to help foster the inclusion of individuals with autism. 

Four organizations were identified as recipients for the second cohort of the Impact Partner Grant.

  • District C will seek to empower every public high school in Raleigh to adopt District C programming through Project Raleigh First. Project Raleigh First will allow District C to recruit educators from local priority high schools to participate in the Coaching Institute. This will ultimately develop the next generation of Raleigh innovators no matter their race, gender, or background through an opportunity to engage with local startup businesses. 
  • Triangle ArtWorks will support the growing number of craft artists, local artisans, and local market managers with the ArtsSwell Craft Entrepreneurship program through structured courses and lunch-and-learn events. The goal is to create a stronger, more healthy, and sustainable business ecosystem for local craft and artisan communities in Raleigh.  
  • Wake Tech Community College will enhance programming through LaunchRALEIGH by serving additional Southeast Raleigh entrepreneurs while continuing to provide training to the program. LaunchRALEIGH’s collaboration with Wake Tech, Shaw University, and Saint Augustine’s University remains a valuable resource to the community. With the chartering of Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (C.E.O) clubs, entrepreneurial resources and benefits will also extend to students at all three schools. 
  • Wake County Empowering Entrepreneurs and Seeding Innovation (EEASI) Challenge is a transformational, cohort learning experience that teaches entrepreneurship as an essential life skill – equipping youth and adults for financial, personal, & professional success. The EEASI Challenge is a program of Social & Economic Vitality (SEV), a collaborative initiative to end the cycle of poverty in Southeast Raleigh and eastern Wake County.



Division of Community and Small Business Development 
919-996-4330 | email 


Lead Department:
Housing and Neighborhoods
Service Categories:
Community and Small Business DevelopmentEntrepreneurship and Innovation 



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