The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Wins Award from U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2024 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

The Foundation awarded $50,000 in prize money for equitable access to entrepreneurship

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 23, 2024) – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven as a Stage One winner for the 2024 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC). The Community Foundation will receive a $50,000 cash prize for its impactful and inclusive approach to nurturing a collaborative national innovation ecosystem to advance small business research and development from ideas to the market.

By fostering connections between entrepreneurs, mentors, partners, philanthropies, corporations, investors and other shared resources, GAFC 2024 catalyzes strategic ecosystem partnerships to build community and organizational capacity for the successful launch, growth, and scale of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)-based entrepreneurs.

The Foundation’s award-winning model was developed by its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Community Foundation Mission Investments Company, which collaborates with private and public funding partners to make investments in local entrepreneurs with the purpose of creating opportunity and generational wealth for individuals, families and neighborhoods. Its primary strategy is the New Haven Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, a network of service providers that offer capital and technical assistance to businesses.

“We are grateful that the SBA recognizes our innovative approach to making tech entrepreneurship accessible in our community. This will open new doors to opportunity and wealth that previously did not exist,” said Joe Williams, managing director, The Community Foundation Mission Investments Company.

“Our work to build an equitable and inclusive business ecosystem in Greater New Haven is advancing thanks to partnerships in the private and nonprofit sectors and all levels of government, including this most recent award from the SBA. We are excited to be part of a national movement that is broadening economic prosperity in our country,” said Drew Alden, president and CEO of The Community Foundation Mission Investments Company.

Two Stages

SBA welcomed Stage One submissions from a broad range of organizations with a collaborative vision to nurture a national ecosystem for equitable access to entrepreneurship. Winners of Stage One were selected through a multi-tier review panel process with experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation and strategic planning both inside and out of the federal government.

Stage Two offers an additional $50,000 to $150,000 in cash prizes for Growth Accelerator Partnerships. To learn more about Stage Two opportunities and to access the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Guidelines, please visit