Founders First Grants now available for veteran-owned small businesses

(Image courtesy of Founders First CDC)

Applications are now open for veteran-owned small businesses to seek grants from the Stephen L. Tadlock Fund through Founders First CDC, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers expansion in diverse founder-led, revenue-generating businesses.

To be eligible, the company’s founder must be a U.S. military veteran, have an active U.S.-based business, and have between two and 50 employees. Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 18, with recipients being announced on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2022.

The fund was inspired by Founders First CEO and founder Kim Folsom’s brother, U.S. Navy Veteran Stephen L. Tadlock. This is the second year such grants will be distributed.

The $25,000 grant will be awarded to 25 veteran recipients who will receive $1,000 each.

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“We are extremely excited to be among those awarded for the job creators grant. This opportunity helps business owners in so many ways,” said Darlisa Diltz, Managing Director of the North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Training Center in North Richland Hills, whose company was a recipient of a grant in 2021.

“Gaining practical and tangible business best practices that we can take back and implement with our teams, clients and community is priceless,” Diltz said. “In addition, the resources provided by Founders First are really beneficial to entrepreneurs like myself beyond just the funding.”

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau’s survey of small business owners, there are more than 2.5 million veteran majority-owned businesses in the U.S. that employ more than 5 million individuals. As a result, these businesses generate revenue of more than $1.14 trillion, and account for annual payroll of $195 billion.

“Veteran owned small businesses make up 9.2 percent of the total number of businesses in Texas, which is higher than the national state average,” said Founders First Executive Director Shaylon Scott. “Therefore, strengthening and supporting these leaders in entrepreneurship is critical to sustaining the local economy. Recent economic hardships have proven challenging for all small businesses, even the most seasoned. With this grant we’re able to help them thrive and look towards the future during this uncertain time.”

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The judging committee for the Stephen L. Tadlock Grant includes a panel of distinguished veterans, representing multiple branches of service.

“I’ve seen firsthand through my brother’s experience in the U.S. Navy and re-entry into civilian life that American veterans give back to our country each and every day, and following their service it’s critical that they receive support from family, friends and local communities to thrive in their careers following their service,” Folsom said.

“As veteran-owned businesses are critical contributors to the small business community, I’m proud to extend this fund for the second year in a row to veteran business owners who need the extra boost of funding.”

Qualified business owners may apply at