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Start your Application for Assistance

Thank you for your interest in working with Start Small Think Big! This application will help us determine if you qualify for free services. It should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. If needed, you can save your progress and continue later. You may also contact us if you have any questions.

First thing is first, please review our eligibility policy to make sure you are a good candidate!

1. Business Stage
  • We serve applicants who are currently selling goods and/or services (defined as having documented sales over the past 3 months of $500) OR have a legal need that is keeping them from selling
2. Household Income and Assets
3. Location
  • Eligible applicants must either liver or operate a business that is physically located in one of the five boroughs of New York City or eligible Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco or San Mateo).
Start Small’s mission is to help under resourced individuals build and sustain thriving businesses in order to increase their personal financial security and stimulate economic activity in underserved communities in New York City and the Bay Area.

Entrepreneurs eligible for Start Small assistance must meet ALL of the following criteria: 

1.  Location. Eligible entrepreneurs must either live or operate a business that is physically located in one of the five boroughs of New York City OR one of the following counties in California: Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco or San Mateo.

2.  Business stage and Characteristics. You must be currently selling goods/services and have documented sales for the past 3 months in the total amount of at least $500. The business has not raised more than $75,000 in equity capital, including, but not limited to convertible debt, common equity, preferred equity, or SAFE note.  

If your business has not yet begun to conduct sales, Start Small Think Big may still consider your application*, if one of the following conditions are met: 

If you are purchasing an existing business and have 1) agreed to a purchase price for that business, and 2) have a credible financing plan in place.

If you have a proposed commercial lease or vendor contract  in hand.

*Note the submission of  a written, credible plan to begin conducting sales within 12 months will be required.

3. Household financial circumstances and  resources. Household income (including applicant’s share of net business income) must not exceed 500% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines ("FPG"). Please refer to the chart below.  Also, applicant’s household must have less than $50,000 in eligible assets (note: a retirement account balance is not considered an eligible asset).
2018 Federal Poverty Guidelines
2018 FPG Template

2018 Federal Poverty Guidelines
2018 FPG Template

Start Small Think Big currently only provides services out of our NYC and Bay Area offices. Eligible applicants must either liver or operate a business that is physically located in one of the five boroughs of New York City or eligible Bay Area counties.

If you meet these criteria, please select one of the two offices.
We will not disclose the information you provide in this Application for Assistance to anyone except:
  1. our employees and representatives, for the purpose of making a determination about whether you qualify for our services and/or for the performance of our services;
  2. as otherwise authorized by you;
  3. as required by law, court order, or regulatory authority; or
  4. we may compile data and information provided by you and other Start Small Think Big applicants and/or clients, but such information will only be disclosed on an aggregate or illustrative basis and will not be disclosed in a manner that would personally identify you.

Personal Information


Contact Information

Please provide the full name and contact information for each owner or potential owner of your business (OTHER than yourself). Your application will not be processed until we can contact each additional owner.


Additional Financial Information

How much would you estimate you have in HOUSEHOLD assets in the following categories? Please DO NOT including the following:
  • The value of the home you live in
  • The value of up to one car per household
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement accounts (e.g., IRAs and 401(k)s)
  • Education assistance (e.g., scholarships and loans)

To access your free (non-FICO) credit score, go to

Business Information


Please submit your application by clicking the button below! Please expect to hear back from our intake team, typically within 5 business days.