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Urban Gig Economy – Examining Business Needs and Priorities (Washington)


The Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA) has announced the statewide grant opportunity to fund nonprofit organizations in urban settings that provide business training, technical assistance and access financing to the smallest businesses in Washington State, with particular focus on those operating in the gig economy.

Donor Name: Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA)

State: Washington

County: All Counties

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline: 03/24/2023

Size of the Grant: up to $20,000


The Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA) is dedicated to strengthening business technical assistance providers as they engage with economic development partners to support the smallest businesses to grow sustainably, equitably and financially throughout Washington state.

Gig business workers/business owners have often been misunderstood, underserved and isolated from traditional business services. WSMA wants to develop better ways to support part-time gig workers. This labor market is generally composed of people with a side hustle or those who provide freelance work to generate income on their own schedule. These roles offer flexibility and enable folks to supplement their income or simply work when they want. There aren’t many protections for these entrepreneurs.

Eligible and Required Use of Funds For this grant cycle, WSMA is seeking and will prioritize applicants:

  • That have relationships with networks of gig workers who are open to sharing their experience and needs with surveys, focus groups or other methods;
  • That have significant experience with business owners who derive 25-40% of their income from gig ventures;
  • That have demonstrated experience supporting businesses in the gig economy;
  • That have developed tools and resources that are effective in supporting gig workers with their businesses;
  • With a track record for responding to the unique business needs of workers in the gig economy;
  • That have used research based tools, strategies, and initiatives to support gig workers with their business.

Applicants may apply for funds to strengthen businesses the organization serves. This could include testing new business training, technical assistance and/or microlending services that support small businesses in the gig economy, Service areas include:

  • Training
    • Provide webinars, workshops, or training programs that build the capacity of small businesses to attract new customers, manage their finances, fine tune their operations, apply for financing, etc.
  • Technical Assistance
    • Assistance to small businesses that includes but is not limited to support for accessing federal and state loans/grants, business coaching, helping businesses with implementing their business plans, troubleshooting, improving marketing strategies or accessing financing, etc.
  • Microlending or Access to Financing
    • Providing microloans or access to financing for Microenterprises. Please Note: Technical assistance, business counseling, outreach, and/or loan processing costs, etc. in support of those organizations that provide financing can be covered. However, the loan amount itself and/or any fees associated with it that are normally paid by the borrower cannot be covered; this funding prohibition applies as well to any type of other lending or financial instrument.

Funding Information

Application requests can be up to $20,000.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are Existing, Embedded, or Emerging non-profit Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDO) or other non-profit organizations in Washington State that support and provide business development services to microenterprises, especially in historically marginalized and under-resourced communities in Washington State. WSMA is committed to ensuring that equal opportunity is provided to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), veterans, woman-owned enterprises, entrepreneurs with disabilities, justice involved entrepreneurs and others historically shut out from funding, training programs, financing and other opportunities.

For more information, visit WSMA.

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