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The Small & Diverse Business Education Fund Scholarship is designed to provide targeted training and development support to qualified certified Small and Diverse Business owners, as well as to support Diverse Business initiatives.

The scholarship, sponsored by Bank of America and funded through the generosity of Bank of America’s vendors, is managed and administered by Communities Foundation of Texas. Scholarship recipients will be given the opportunity to further enhance the business operations functions within their companies, positioning them to better compete for increased business.

For the fall 2019 cycle, 50 scholarships of up to $10,000 each will be awarded to eligible recipients selected by the Small & Diverse Business Education Fund Scholarship Selection Committee.

Applicants are encouraged to find a program that fits their educational needs and will propel their business forward. If selected as a recipient, applicants may enroll in any desired program within the parameters of the scholarship, regardless of the applicants certifying agency. Find a complete list of programs here. Note, applicants are not limited to this list of programs.

Timeline to Apply

  • Monday, August 5, 2019: Online applications become available
  • Friday, October 25, 2019: Online application period closes; no applications for the 2019 cycle will be accepted after midnight (CST) on this date.
  • By Friday, November 29, 2019: Applicants will be notified by this date as to whether or not they are a recipient of a scholarship.
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Scholarships Awarded

The Small & Diverse Business Education Fund Scholarship Selection Committee will award up to 50 scholarships up to $10,000 each as eligible applicants are identified through the selection process. Scholarships may be used for:

  • Tuition, books and fees for training in the following areas:
    • Mentorship Programs
    • LEED Certifications
    • Advanced Industry Training
    • Six Sigma Certification
    • Capacity Building Programs
    • Technology Training
    • Educational Programs
  • At any accredited college or university in the United States or its possessions, or any nonprofit organization offering programs in the areas listed above. Any program submitted for scholarship reimbursement (especially if not a nonprofit organization) must be vetted and approved by CFT before the reimbursement can be made.
  • Scholarship recipients must attend the approved course within 12 months of receiving the award.
  • Scholarships are available for the majority business owner only, and not to any other employees of the company.

General Scholarship Criteria

Criteria for this scholarship include (but are not limited to):

  • Business must be currently certified as either a small or diverse business by a recognized national or state diversity certifying agency, including, but not limited to, the following diversity classifications:
    • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)
    • Women Business Enterprise (WBE)
    • Disabled Person-Owned
    • US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAAC)
    • Veteran-Owned
    • LGBT-Owned
    • HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zones)
  • Business must have an annual sales of between $500,000 and $50,000,000;
  • Business must employ at least three full-time employees;
  • Business owner must have a minimum of three years of experience developing and running their company;
  • Business owner must be a first-time attendee for the specific course they are submitting for scholarship support; and
  • Scholarship recipients must attend the approved course within 12 months of receiving the award.
Trustees and employees of Communities Foundation of Texas or Bank of America, as well as families or other related parties, scholarship fund advisors, committee members or any other persons related to any person involved in the administration or awarding of the Small & Diverse Business Education Fund Scholarship are not eligible to apply.

“The [Small and Diverse Business] scholarship gave me access to some of the brightest minds and greatest thinking in sales strategy and execution. The instructors not only successfully grew their own company exponentially, they drew on decades of experience in helping other companies grow theirs. The brilliant sequencing, content, and delivery of real-world information will mightily contribute to a new laser focus on growth at my company.”
-2017 Scholarship Recipient

Questions about scholarships?

Through the generosity of our donors, Communities Foundation of Texas offers a variety of scholarship opportunities to deserving students across Texas and the U.S. While most are for graduating high school seniors attending institutions of higher education, others enable individuals to pursue vocational training and professional development opportunities.

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