The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Celebrates the Launch of its $8.7 Million Grant Program for Local Entrepreneurs

New Haven Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem offers capital and business services through

Justin Elicker
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker helped celebrate the launch of the New Haven Entrepreneurial Ecosystem at The Community Foundation. Photo: New Haven Independent

New Haven, Conn. (July 10, 2023) – The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (CFGNH) hosted a press conference Monday to announce the launch of its $8.7 million grant program and website,, for local entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Alisha Crutchfield, owner of BLOOM, noted that resources like the New Haven Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (NHE3) grant have helped her business grow. “This grant supports so much more than a business - it supports a vision.

With this grant, I’ll be able to expand my growing business and hire experienced team members. I’ll also hire inexperienced team members and properly train them so they can contribute to society in innovative ways and take care of their families,” said Crutchfield, who owns a multi-concept gathering space in Westville.

CFGNH created the NHE3 grant program as a result of its strategic planning four years ago, which prioritized opportunity and equity.

Alisha Crutchfield
Alisha Crutchfield, owner of Bloom, is using an NHE3 grant to add staff and grow her business. Photo: New Haven Independent

“We need to see economic growth that creates opportunity for everyone in this community,” said William Ginsberg, CFGNH’s President and CEO. “This is a unique moment. There is a greater economic opportunity for this community today than at any time in the four decades that I have been in this community.”

NHE3 plans to award 750 grants, averaging $6,000 per grant, over the next 5 years. Black, brown, and women-owned business owners are strongly encouraged to apply.

Grant recipients can use the funding for operational costs, including purchasing equipment, inventory, marketing, and payroll. NHE3 is accepting applications on the website,, and will award the grants to small business owners throughout the Greater New Haven area. The website is a portal for small business owners to apply for grants and sign up for business support services. Applicants can also be connected with Entrepreneurial Support Organizations (ESO) in the ecosystem to guide them through the application process, which includes gathering financial statements.

“The NHE3 grant helps residents in the Greater New Haven area thrive! This is about wealth creation in our community,” said Joe Williams, Jr., Director of NHE3 Operations.

Joe Williams, Alisha Crutchfield, Paul Robertson, Will Ginsberg and Justin Elicker (l-r). Photo: New Haven Independent

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker commented, “NHE3 is a great model of how government, community organizations, and the business community can work together to make an even bigger impact. We’re committed to inclusive economic growth and helping provide our local entrepreneurs and small businesses – particularly those who have been historically marginalized in our economy – with the tools needed to be successful and thrive. That includes access to capital, training, technical assistance, and support through mentorship and networking. The NHE3 program will help advance all of this, and that’s why the City of New Haven has committed $1.5 million and additional supports to this initiative.”

The state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is funding $7.2 million towards the grant program, part of a $46.6 million statewide initiative to help underserved entrepreneurs and fuel business growth in Connecticut. Liberty Bank has also contributed $50,000 to support this initiative.

“We’re really excited about this partnership, and we can’t wait to see the results of the investments we’ll be making, not only now but for months and years to come,” said DECD Deputy Director Paul Robertson.

Link to full press conference.

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NHE3 is a strategy of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s Mission Investments Company (TCF-MIC), seeking to build an equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem for existing and emerging businesses with a focus on those that encounter structural and financial barriers and may not qualify for conventional financing opportunities.


The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s mission is to inspire, support, inform, listen to and collaborate with the people and organizations of Greater New Haven to build an ever more connected, inclusive, equitable and philanthropic community. Established in 1928, The Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the U.S and has been built by donors supporting a broad variety of issues and organizations. As the permanent charitable endowment for 20 towns in Greater New Haven, The Foundation is implementing a 5-year strategic plan to expanding opportunity and equity in our region.