The Sam’s Club Step Up for Small Business Project Partnership mobilizes Enactus United States teams to empower underserved Main Street business owners in the US to navigate the lending market and equip themselves with the skills and knowledge necessary to make sound business decisions. Each participating Enactus team will collaborate with local resources to conduct borrower education for the small business community and provide one-on-one mentorship and training for a small business in need of additional assistance.

Step Up for Small Business projects have two required components:


Borrower Education: Conduct borrower education outreach for underserved small business communities in the US

Small Business Mentorship: Provide one-on-one mentorship and training for a small business in need of additional assistance


The project must have measurable outcomes completed between May 16, 2015 and April 12, 2016. Up to 57 Enactus United States teams will receive a $2,100 grant to implement their Step Up for Small Business project in 2015–2016. Please closely review the Terms and Conditions found in the Application Sample to learn about the program expectations and requirements.


Borrower Education:


Every day, more than 8,000 loan requests are denied to business owners. For some business owners, this can mean slower business growth, layoffs or even going out of business. These challenges can drive small business owners to alternative lenders that may come with negative long-term consequences like high interest rates and unfavorable loan terms.


Teams that participate in the Step Up for Small Business Project Partnership will engage with project partners to lean on experts who can provide transparent borrower education for underserved Main Street businesses. Borrower education will provide information on topics such as borrower options, responsible lending, better borrower practices and business financial literacy.


Suggested Project Partners:


  • Community Development Financial Institutions (learn more)
  • Local banks and credit unions
  • Small Business Development Centers (learn more)
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Business/Finance Professors
  • Business Advisory Board Members


Teams are encouraged to reach 100+ small businesses through their borrower education. Teams may employ a variety of strategies to reach small businesses, including educational seminars/workshops, online outreach, informational materials, etc. Your reach should be aimed at small businesses that have been in operation for at least one year with 0-20 employees and less than $500,000 in annual revenue. You are also encouraged to serve low or moderate income, minority-, women-, veteran- and/or age 50+ -owned businesses.


Through collaborative and engaging outreach, your Enactus team will serve as a bridge between underserved businesses and the financial resources they need to thrive.


Small Business Mentorship:


In addition to their community-wide outreach, each participating Enactus team will provide mentorship and training for one small business in need of individual assistance. Teams will conduct a needs assessment to determine the small business’ areas of improvement, which could cover areas such as accounting, need for capital, short- and long-term planning, pricing, inventory, marketing, employee training, etc. Teams must spend at least 10 hours mentoring the selected small business. This targeted mentorship will empower small business owners with fundamental business skills to enable their business to thrive–increasing revenue, cutting expenses, supporting jobs and driving the local economy.


Final Impact Report:


Participating teams are required to submit an online Final Impact Report through the Final Impact Report page by April 12, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. CT. This allows your Enactus team to report your project success to Sam’s Club and Enactus. See the Final Impact Report page for more information.


Final Impact Reports will be evaluated by Enactus and/or Sam’s Club to determine the most successful teams to receive Finalist and Grand Prize awards.


Finalist Awards:


Ten Enactus United States teams will be selected to receive $1,000 and a plaque. One small business for each of the 10 Finalist Enactus teams will receive $2,000 and a plaque.


Grand Prize Awards:


From the 10 Finalists, three Enactus United States teams will be selected to receive a Grand Prize award. The Grand Prize award winners will be announced onstage at the 2016 Enactus United States National Exposition on May 15-17 in St. Louis, MO.


  • National First Place: $5,000 & Trophy
  • National Second Place: $4,000 & Trophy
  • National Third Place: $3,000 & Trophy



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By donating to Enactus at UTPB, you are not only donating, but investing.

Investing in the students.

Investing in the community.


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Roden Center (MB2225)

(765) 38-RODEN

(765) 387-6336