Verizon domestic violence entrepreneurship grant program
The Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grant Program provides grants to domestic violence survivors to help them successfully develop small businesses in New York State. The grant program was developed among Verizon Wireless, the Verizon Foundation, and the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (NYS OPDV) and is based on the premise that domestic violence survivors, through their past experience and the coping and problem-solving skills they developed to escape the cycle of violence, are uniquely prepared to step into an entrepreneurial role. In 2007-08, 60 percent of the state-supported entrepreneurship graduates were female, and the programs overall resulted in significant increased sales, employee retention, and new jobs. Therefore, connecting domestic violence survivors to existing NYS-supported entrepreneurship programs will provide a safe path to self-sufficiency for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents, and enable them to help to grow the state’s economy at the same time.
Verizon DV Grants are available to domestic violence survivors planning to start a new business: applicants must submit a business plan, and be enrolled in, or have completed, an entrepreneurship assistance program. Grants range from $500 to $2,500 per applicant and can be used to make a down payment on a work space, purchase a computer or other office equipment, purchase initial product inventory, as collateral to support the receipt of a small business loan, pay for child care or transportation necessary to complete entrepreneurship classes, or other start-up costs. The application is available on OPDV’s website here.