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Grants and In-Kind Support to USA Individuals and Small
Businesses to Launch Wholesale Brokerage Firms

Spark Program

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) - Spark

Deadline Date:

02/27/22 11:59 PM Eastern Time - Receipt

Description:

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Grants and in-kind support to USA individuals and small businesses to promote professional opportunities in the mortgage industry. The purpose of the program is to assist retail mortgage professionals from disadvantaged communities in becoming broker-owners in the wholesale mortgage industry. In addition to a monetary grant, successful applicants will receive mentorship assistance, enrollment in a professional academy, and free membership in the funding organization's trade association. Funds may be used for marketing, technology, licensing, office expenses, and other purposes in order to open or expand a brokerage.

Through the Spark small business grant programs, AIME seeks to fuel new business and employment opportunities in the mortgage industry by providing opportunities for entrepreneurs in the wholesale mortgage industry. The goal of the business grant is to provide additional resources to better equip new brokers with the tools they need to set up a successful business.  Grant applicants must use the grant for cost affiliated with opening a brokerage or growing their businesses. The grant also provides additional support from the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) and the broker community to help the recipients build sustainable business models for any market environment.

AIME is committed to fostering an inclusive environment to support and protect independent mortgage brokers across the country to grow the wholesale mortgage channel. Whether the applicant is a loan officer, broker owner, or a supporting member of a broker’s organization, AIME seeks to help them build a successful business. And for members just transitioning into the wholesale channel, AIME will connect them to valuable business development resources to help them get started.

There are three Spark small business grant programs:
  • Military in Mortgage: The Military in Mortgage grant program is dedicated to providing veterans and service member spouses the training necessary to enter into a career in the mortgage industry and the resources they need to open an independent mortgage brokerage in the wholesale channel. For details, see https://aimespark.com/military-in-mortgage/.
  • Minorities in Mortgage: The Minorities in Mortgage grant program is dedicated to providing professionals of color and underrepresented groups the training necessary to enter into a career in the mortgage industry and the resources they need to open an independent mortgage brokerage in the wholesale channel. For details, see  https://aimespark.com/minorities-in-mortgage/.
  • Women in Mortgage: The Women in Mortgage grant program is dedicated to providing women the training necessary to enter into a career in the mortgage industry and the resources they need to open an independent mortgage brokerage in the wholesale channel. For details, see https://aimespark.com/women-in-mortgage/.

Grant participants are expected to use funding for the following business related expenses:

  • Licensing expenses – PE, testing, LLC/Corp filing 
  • Technology – LOS, POS, CRM
  • Marketing – Business cards, Facebook ads, local ads, NOT purchasing leads
  • Surety Bonds – NOT net worth requirements
  • Office expenses – Rent, Essential furniture, computers, printers
  • Services – Compliance, accounting, graphic design, website development
  • Payroll – Salaries for support staff, NOT for signing bonuses

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 200728

Estimated Size of Grant:

Chosen Grant participants will be awarded a monetary grant based on the decision of the Administrator, paired with a mentor, enrolled in the Leadership Academy, and receive one year of AIME membership at no cost.

Term of Contract:

All program benefits must be used within 1 year of the date of being chosen as a participant.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Program is open to:
- Individuals who are at least 18 years of age at the time of application, are legal residents of the United States where such Programs are allowed by the laws of those states.
- Small businesses applying must be composed of eligible individuals where the business meets the eligibility requirements for individual Applicants.

Qualifications for the Spark Small Business Grant:
- Applicant currently owns OR will own a majority stake in the named company
- If brokerage is already operating, it opened after January 1, 2021
- Applicant has prior experience in the retail mortgage channel
- Not currently working in the wholesale mortgage channel at the time of application review
- Will provide a thoughtful business plan that addresses all aspects of opening and owning a brokerage
- Will provide a comprehensive profit and loss statement identifying where the Spark grant funds would be essential or beneficial to opening or expanding their brokerage
-Applicant identifies as a member of a disadvantaged group* OR is a military veteran or spouse of a service member

*”Disadvantaged” is defined as a member of a group of persons AIME Spark “Program” considers as disadvantaged. The Program presumes certain groups are disadvantaged, including women, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian-Pacific Americans, or other minorities found to be disadvantaged. Persons who are not members of one of the above groups and own and control their business may also be eligible if they establish their “social” and “economic” disadvantage. The Program notes, for example, that people with disabilities have disproportionately low incomes and high rates of unemployment, and that many may be socially and economically disadvantaged. A determination of whether an individual with a disability meets disadvantage eligibility criteria is made on a case-by-case basis.

For ineligible applicants, see the Grant Details page listed in Pre-Application Information below.

Any remote attendance costs associated with participating in the Program, appearing electronically and virtually are at the sole expense of the Applicants and no equipment, media, communication, travel or lodging costs will be reimbursed.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications close for program opportunities on February 27, 2022. All Applications must be received no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

Recipients will be notified in March 25, 2022.

Participants may only participate one (1) time, once per individual or organization.

Spark Grant Details: https://aimespark.com/grant-details/

FAQs: https://aimespark.com/frequently-asked-questions/

Eligibility: https://aimespark.com/eligibility/

How to Apply: https://aimespark.com/how-to-apply/

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online: https://aimespark.com/grant-application/

For questions or technical support, please email spark@aimegroup.com.

AIME Spark
6401 Citation Drive, Ste C
Clarkston, MI 48346
info@aimegroup.com
215-720-1794

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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