Our Mission

The Spark small business grant program will fuel new business opportunities in the mortgage industry with an initial focus on underrepresented populations.

What is the Spark Small Business Grant Program?

The Spark small business grant program is a business grant designed to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the wholesale mortgage industry. For 2021, Spark will feature two separate business grants – Minorities in Mortgage and Women in Mortgage.

Minorities in Mortgage

This grant is dedicated to helping professionals of color make their mark within the mortgage industry by providing an opportunity to create their own path. This small business grant is designed to encourage equity and inclusion in the wholesale channel through assisting owners from underrepresented groups to fund the start-up business costs of opening a brokerage.

Who’s Eligible:
Professionals of color in the wholesale mortgage industry who have previous experience as a loan originator or advanced leadership in the retail channel.

Women in Mortgage

This grant is dedicated to providing women the resources they need to start their own independent mortgage brokerage. This small business grant for women is designed to encourage equity and inclusion in the wholesale channel through funding the start-up business costs of brokerages.

Who’s Eligible:
Professional women in the wholesale mortgage industry who have previous experience as a loan originator or advanced leadership in the retail channel.

How Can I Apply for a Spark Small Business Grant?

Application submission for the Spark grant program will open on December 1, 2020. Review the following steps to see what you can prepare today to ensure an easy application process.

Step 1

Review Criteria for Eligibility

Learn more about each of our grant programs and determine if one of our programs is a good fit for you.

Step 2

Prepare Business Plan

All Spark grant programs require a business plan for submission outlining business costs, marketing plans, projected goals, competitive advantage in your local community, etc.

Step 3

Compile References & Documentation

Professional and community references are needed to complete your application and should highlight your entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to borrowers.

How to prepare a business plan

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Why You Should Apply

Through the Spark grant program, professionals of color and women will be awarded up to $50,000 to use towards business expenses.

Funding

The Spark grant program funds can be used for a variety of business expenses, including:

Licensing

Expenses PE

Testing

LLC/Corp filings

Office Expenses

Rent

Essential Furniture

Computers

Printers

Payroll

Salaries for Support Staff

NOT for signing bonuses

Surety Bonds

NOT for net worth requirements

Services

Compliance

Accounting

Graphic Design

Website Development

Technology

LOS

POS

CRM

Marketing

Business Cards

Facebook Ads

Local Ads

NOT for purchasing leads

Application Review

All applications will be reviewed by a committee based on the applicant’s work history, references and proposed business plan. The funding amount is based on state-required resources for operations.

December 1, 2020

Application Submission Open

Application submissions for the grant programs open on December 1, 2020.

January 31, 2021

Application Submission Closed

Grant program applications will close on January 31, 2021.

February, 1 2021

Application Review

Grant program applications will be reviewed by a committee.

March, 31, 2021

Grant Selection

Grant recipients will be announced by March 31, 2021.

Application Coming Soon

Frequently Asked Questions

I am starting the process of opening my own brokerage, do I still qualify for the grant if I am part-way through the process?

Grant applicants qualify if they are within the first 12-months of establishing their business.

I am a female applicant of color, which grant should I apply for?

Please apply for the grant program that best suits you. All applications will be reviewed based on the merits of their application and only one grant will be selected at the discretion of the application review team.

Will there be any oversight of how the funds are used after they are distributed?

Yes, grant recipients will be required to submit P&L statements for the business.

Questions?

Contact us at spark@aimegroup.com. Contact Us

Our Partners

The Spark small business grant program is made possible by the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) with funding provided by United Wholesale Mortgage and Home Point Financial’s community foundation.