Dream Fund Small Business Training
for businesses located in
Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties

The California Dream Fund Grant Program is a one-time $35 million grant program launched by the State of California to provide small business training and microgrants up to $10,000 to seed qualifying small business creation throughout California. California entrepreneurs who are planning to start a business can register to attend an intensive startup training program developed by one of the participating training partners, such as the LA SBDC.  Upon completion of the training, which includes online workshops and one-on-one advising, participants who take steps to formalize their business will be eligible to apply for a grant. 

The LA SBDC’s Dream Fund training program is open to new businesses from Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties. Businesses outside of these counties can find a designated training partner in their area by clicking here.

What are the eligibility criteria to qualify for a Dream Fund Grant?

An entrepreneur must comply with the following conditions in order to qualify for a Dream Fund Grant:

Complete a defined small business/entrepreneurship curriculum and at least one hour of 1:1 advising

Have established a legal business entity after July 1, 2019

Meet the definition of a new business start by fulfilling the following conditions:

  • Has acquired the necessary permits and licenses to operate legally AND at least one of the following:
    • Has made a first sale
    • Has spent money on business expenses; this may include legal and accounting fees
    • Has obtained capital for the business
    • Has hired at least 1 employee (must be a W2 employee)
    • Has created a business banking relationship
  • Have no more than 5 full-time equivalent employees and $1 million or less in annual receipts

Each participating entrepreneur must agree to report on the progress of their business to the designated training program where they received their training for at least one year.


What are ineligible businesses for the Dream Fund Program?

Businesses that registered prior to July 1, 2019

Businesses without a physical location in California

Nonprofit businesses not registered as either a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19)

Government entities (other than Native American tribes) or elected official offices

Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19))

Passive businesses, investment companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns

Churches and other religious institutions (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19)) other than a school, child care, or other educational business affiliated where (i) greater than 50% of the gross annual revenue is derived from the school, child care facility or educational business and (ii) the grant will be used only for eligible costs and expenses directly related to the school, child care, or other educational business, and no portion of the grant will be used for any normal profit or overhead of the church or other religious institution

Financial businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies and factoring companies

Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state or local law

Businesses of a prurient or sexual nature

Cannabis businesses 

Gig or contract workers, such as Uber or Lyft drivers, Instacart, Doordash

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