NJ gives new entrepreneurs money to start their own business

NEW JERSEY – Do you have a great business idea, but are afraid to quit your job or try to start your business full time?

For the first time ever, the State of New Jersey will give money to entrepreneurs so they can receive a paycheck for two years while they launch a start-up business.

These are grants, not loans. They should not be reimbursed to the state.

The program is part of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority program called New Jersey Innovation Fellows (NJIF).

Gov. Phil Murphy, who strongly supports the program, noted that the idea is that the state will provide “income replacement capital,” so entrepreneurs can devote their full-time attention to building their businesses.

According to NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan, building a start-up business is a big risk, and it often forces entrepreneurs to give up income or a paycheck in the first few years of starting their business.

“This program is designed to give people the financial flexibility and foundational support needed to take calculated business risks and achieve their entrepreneurial dreams,” Sullivan said.

  • Town of Asbury Park
  • Atlantic City
  • City of Bayonne
  • Township of Belleville
  • Borough of Bergenfield
  • Township of Bloomfield
  • brick township
  • Town of Bridgeton
  • City of Burlington
  • Town of Camden
  • District of Carteret
  • Borough of Cliffside Park
  • Town of Clifton
  • East of the city of Orange
  • City of Elizabeth
  • City of Garfield
  • Borough of Glassboro
  • City of Gloucester
  • Township of Gloucester
  • City of Hackensack
  • Town of Harrison
  • Township of Hillside
  • Hoboken Town
  • Township of Irvington
  • City of Jersey
  • Keansburg
  • Town of Kearny
  • Township of Lakewood
  • District of Lindenwold
  • Borough of Lodi
  • Long Branch City
  • Town of Millville
  • Township of Monroe
  • Township of Montclair
  • Township of Mount Holly
  • Neptune
  • Neptune City Borough
  • Neptune Township
  • City of New Brunswick
  • City of Newark
  • North Township of Bergen
  • Township of Nutley
  • Old Bridge Township
  • orange city
  • City of Passaic
  • Town of Paterson
  • Township of Pemberton
  • Borough of Penns Grove
  • Township of Pennsauken
  • City of Amboy from Perth
  • City of Phillipsburg
  • Town of Plainfield
  • Town of Pleasantville
  • City of Rahway
  • Arrondissement of Roselle
  • City of Salem
  • Seaside Heights
  • secaucus
  • City of Trenton
  • Union City
  • City of Vineland
  • Township of Weehawken
  • Western New York City
  • New York West Township
  • Willingboro Township
  • Township of Winslow
  • Township of Woodbridge
  • Town of Woodbury

Additionally, teams can receive an additional $50,000 for each business leader who self-certifies as a minority or female entrepreneur or graduates from a New Jersey college or university.

Qualifying teams can even receive additional bonuses of up to $150,000 in total for certification team members. This translates to a total of $400,000 that the state will pay out to young entrepreneurs if they qualify.

Rewards will be paid out over eight quarters to teams that achieve and maintain compliance milestones. So, in other words, young people will not receive a large sum of money all at once.

To be eligible for the NJIF program, at least half of the team must certify as a “first-time contractor” and at least two-thirds of the contractor team must come directly from the workforce.

All Entrepreneur Fellows will participate in a mentorship program with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT in Newark) or Rowan University in South Jersey. This means that these entrepreneurs must take courses in subjects such as management finance, accounting and the preparation of financial statements; human resource development and management; business model design; marketing and client development and more.

The mentorship will last for the duration of the two-year NJIF program.

Governor Murphy said it’s important to attract budding entrepreneurs who are young people of color or who come from poor communities, regardless of race.

“New Jersey is committed to ensuring that passionate entrepreneurs have the resources they need to turn their innovative ideas and vision into a viable business,” Murphy said. “By supplementing the income of startup founders, we help break down the barriers that too often exist in the way of success. The NJIF program will change that.”

“We’re working to level the playing field for aspiring New Jersey entrepreneurs by ensuring they have access to capital and mentorship, regardless of socioeconomic status,” Sullivan said. “Granting through the NJIF program will give more people the financial flexibility to take calculated business risks and achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.”

Think you have a great business idea? Apply here when the application process opens in 2023.

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