SOAR Foundation FAQ's
Q: How long has the SOAR Grant been awarded?
A. The SOAR Grant Foundation was set up in 2019 to minority small business owners. Today, we award a grant each month to one recipient; additional grants are often awarded as well. Twelve SOAR Grant recipients (one each month from June to May) are then considered for the grant awarded once a year at the Alabama Black Expo (ABX); This announcement is made at the ABX in June.
ELB and the SOAR Grant have received much exposure in outlets for their work in helping minority-owned businesses.
Q: How do you pick the ELB SOAR Grant winner each month?
A: It’s a simple, straightforward process. The ELB Advisory Board carefully evaluates grant applications daily and selects 5 monthly finalists. We discuss each finalist and vote to determine a winner. We announce the finalists on the second Friday of the month to follow, and the winner is announced on the 15th.
Businesses selected for a monthly SOAR Grant are automatically eligible for the once a year grant. We consider, check-ups with the monthly SOAR Grant winners and other factors.
Q: Who selects the grant winners?
A: Our ELB Advisory Board.
Q: What criteria do you use to select a grant winner?
A. We’re looking for three basic things:
1. Your story. We’re looking for qualities like passion, business savvy, and vision. Individuals who believe in what they’re doing tend to make us believers, too.
2. Plans for growing/starting your business. We’re not looking for a formal business plan. Just some explanation of how you’ll achieve business success. It might include some mention of your market, your team, the things you’ve overcome so far, and the challenges you still face
3. Plans for the grant money. Tell us how you would invest the money if you won. Be as detailed as you can.
Q: What eligibility requirements are there for applying for an SOAR Grant?
A. We request that businesses be at least 50% minority-owned for consideration. The business must be based in the U.S. State of Alabama. And the applicant must be a minimum of 18 years old.
Q: Can I receive feedback on my application?
A. We do not provide individual feedback on applications.
Q: If I apply for one month and don’t receive a grant am I automatically enrolled for the next month?
A. Since the grants run on a month-to-month basis, we only consider applicants that applied in that specific months’ time frame. Yes, you can re-apply, but you should only consider doing that when something significant has changed to your business model or circumstances that has positively impacted your company. Our system will not allow a second application with the same email within two (2) months. Beyond that, you can re-apply through the same application page.
Q: Do I need a website to apply?
A. You don’t. However, it’s very helpful if you provide a social media profile from your company — ideally Facebook or Instagram.
Q: What are your social media accounts?
A. We mostly focus on Facebook and Instagram, where we have a great community. You can also find us on Twitter.
Q: Are non-profits eligible?
A. Yes, as of January, 2021.
Q: What types of businesses do you select as winners?
A. Grant winners aren’t limited to any “type” of business. We’ve had all kinds receive grants with a focus on everything.