Apply for Funds to Advance Your Business!


Some text as placeholder. In real life you can have the elements you have chosen. Like, text, images, lists, etc.
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Text: Grants available to advance your business. Applications now open for Rio students. Deadline: Sept. 30

Two Grant Opportunities Open to Rio Students

By Mira Radovich, Senior Contributing Writer

Calling all entrepreneurs! Rio Salado College has grant funds available to help students get their businesses off the ground.

Grant funds are available for students through two Rio Salado College partnerships: a Fall 2023 pitch competition with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and the Everyday Entrepreneur Program, and the Advancing Small Businesses grant with Wells Fargo.

Fund awards range from $500 to $1,500 for the Advancing Small Businesses grant and are based on project scope and business status. 

For the Fall 2023 Rio Salado Pitch Competition, the top three winners may receive up to $4,000 (first place), $2,500 (second place), and $2,000 (third place). Participants may also have opportunities for smaller funding awards.

“Participating in the grant programs benefit student-entrepreneurs at any stage of their business journey,” said Dr. Lily Davidov, Rio Salado College faculty chair for accounting and small business. “Once students join our entrepreneurial community, they gain access to collaborating with faculty mentors and a structured framework that improves organizational skills, both as business owners and students.”

Davidov said that mentorship support will be provided to assist students with the submission of required documents for grant approval.

If approved, the grant funds can be used for business expenses through reimbursement or third-party payment (valid receipts and documents will be required).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Enrolled in a minimum of 3 (three) credits at Rio Salado College for Fall 2023
  • Arizona-based business
  • Business duration less than one year (calculated from the corporate entity approval, business bank account start date, or business license start date) OR, showcasing continuous and substantial business growth for over a year
  • Willingness to meet with assigned Small Business Development Center coach and Rio Salado faculty within 30 days of selection

The deadline to apply is Sept. 30, 2023.

If you are interested in these exciting opportunities, complete the application form.  If you have any questions about the process, please contact Dr. Lily Davidov at


Request Information