DALLAS, June 7, 2022 — The American Heart Association®, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on longer, healthier lives for all, has extended the application deadline for EmPOWERED To Serve Business Accelerator™ financial grant awards that empower entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas address health disparities in under-resourced communities. Now through June 19, 2022, interested entrepreneurs may apply to the grant program at empoweredtoserve.org/accelerator.
About 50 million people in the United States are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease because they lack the most basic needs — healthy food, clean air and drinking water, quality education, employment and housing., Historically, people of color, including Black and Hispanics/Latinos individuals, have higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) largely due to social factors. For example, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for Americans – about 60% of adult Black men and women have CVD.
Through the EmPowered To Serve Business Accelerator, the American Heart Association supports communities, small businesses, social entrepreneurs and innovators who are working to reduce health disparities and create groundbreaking social change. Grants are a crucial part of this support as organizers of community health efforts struggle with fewer resources to address an increased demand for services. The Association provides communities with a bank of resources that help them quickly address barriers to health equity.
Applicants must provide proposed business solutions to specifically address and improve challenges presented by the social determinants of health — the social and economic conditions in which people are born, live, learn, work and play — in historically excluded communities.
Upon selection, candidates will begin six weeks of intensive, online business training before presenting their proposed business solutions to a panel of expert judges at the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator Finale, which is scheduled to occur on October 20, 2022. At that time, select candidates will have the opportunity to receive financial grants to operationalize models in their specific communities.
The Accelerator’s core curriculum offers formal instruction on design thinking, customer discovery, market positioning, brand development, fundraising and other essential business functions to help entrepreneurs enhance their business models and demonstrate the viability of projects.
Since 2017, the Accelerator program has trained nearly 80 social entrepreneurs and organizations and provided almost $900,000 in financial grants. Business Accelerator alumni continue to support the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association by participating in local volunteer boards and serving as brand ambassadors at special events and in community meetings.
To learn more, visit empoweredtoserve.org.