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Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Grant

Application Deadline: February 15, 2022

As a creative entrepreneur, you are a leader on the pathway to recovery and increased opportunity in our rapidly changing environment. The Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator grant program provides creative entrepreneurs with small business consulting and up to $2,000 in critical financial resources to grow businesses and revenue.

Fifty-one percent of the funds available for distribution in this program will be reserved for Black, indigenous, or persons of color (BIPOC), or individuals residing in communities identified by the Small Business Administration’s low-income communities map. The Arts Council is administering this grant on behalf of the PA Council on the Arts for Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties.


This grant program offers $500 to $2,000 in support of creative entrepreneurs starting a business or currently operating a micro-business with gross revenue less than $200,000 in Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties. Eligible applicants must participate in creative fields such as marketing, architecture, visual arts, crafts, design, film and media, digital games, music, entertainment, publishing, or a similar creative field.

Creative entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for the Creative Entrepreneurs Accelerator Program once every three years. Non-profit organizations are not eligible for funds through this program.

Applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older and live in Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, or Washington counties
  • Manage a business with gross revenue of less than $200,000 or intend to form or operate a business in Pennsylvania
  • Operate in one or more of the following creative industries:
    • Marketing – Advertising and marketing agencies and professionals
    • Architecture – Architecture firms and architects
    • Visual Arts & Crafts – Galleries, artists, artisans, and makers
    • Design – Product, interior, graphic, and fashion design firms and designers
    • Film & Media – Film, video, animation, television, and radio businesses
    • Digital Games – Companies, programmers, and individuals producing games
    • Music & Entertainment – Producers, venues, musicians, and performers
    • Publishing – Print or electronic businesses and content creators, editors, and writers

Application Procedure

Before applying, all applicants must first have a consultation and business plan review with a local small business development organization, known as a Referral Coordinator. The Referral Coordinators will help with the logistics of starting a business including the development of a business plan and growth strategies.

Referral Coordinators for the Arts Council include Bridgeway Capital, Chatham University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Business consultation services are provided at no cost to prospective applicants, and referral coordinator services are available on an ongoing basis. 

Please be sure to review the CEA Grant Guidelines to ensure applicant eligibility prior to reaching out to a Referral Coordinator. If you have questions about eligibility, please contact Shaqui Scott, manager of grants and membership, at

Upon receiving a referral form from a designated Referral Coordinator, applicants may submit application materials through the Arts Council website. 

Submissions must include the creative entrepreneur’s application form, referral form, and business plan, including a budget outlining expected project expenses for the funding year. Upon receipt of an eligible and complete application, the Arts Council will review your application. If approved, the Arts Council will enter into a grant award agreement with the creative entrepreneur and process the grant payment.

For details on how to apply, and to access a business plan template, please download the full grant guidelines and the referral form.

If you would like one-on-one assistance completing your application, please reach out to our Manager of Grants and Membership, Shaqui Scott, at at least two weeks prior to the application deadline. Any one-on-one requests for application support received after this date will not be guaranteed.

Official Website: Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Grant



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