General NC Green Business Fund Presentation


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General NC Green Business Fund Presentation

  1. 1. NC Green Business Fund Grant Workshop R.V. Rikard Grant Administrator Department of Commerce NC Board of Science & Technology Office: 919-716-0110 Cell: 919-414-0891
  2. 2. Brief Background on the NC Green Business Fund
  3. 3. Legislation General Statue 143B-437.4-8 Purposes. – Moneys in the NC Green Business Fund shall be allocated pursuant to this subsection. The Department of Commerce shall make grants from the Fund to private businesses with less than 100 employees, nonprofit organizations, local governments, and State agencies to encourage the expansion of small to medium size businesses with less than 100 employees to help grow a green economy in the State. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  4. 4. Purpose (NCGBF Guidelines) The North Carolina Green Business Fund (the “Green Business Fund” or the “Program”) is designed to award funds to North Carolina small for-profit and non-profit businesses, and State and local governmental entities, to encourage the development and commercialization of promising green technologies in the following three designated priority areas (“Priority Areas”): RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  5. 5. Priority Areas: • The development of the biofuels industry in North Carolina. Grants made in this category may target projects that maximize the development, production, distribution, retail infrastructure, and consumer purchase of biofuels and workforce development in these areas. • The development of the green building industry in North Carolina. Grants made in this category may target the development of environmentally conscious and energy efficient green building processes, including but not limited to supporting the installation, certification, or distribution of green building materials; energy audits; marketing and sales of green building technology in North Carolina; and workforce development for green building processes. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  6. 6. Priority Areas (cont): • Attracting and leveraging private sector investment and entrepreneurial growth in environmentally conscious clean technologies and renewable energy products and businesses. Grants in this category may target renewable energy deployment; biomass energy projects; waste reclamation for energy; liquefaction; implementation of innovative energy efficiency technologies; clean distributed generation infrastructure improvements; and other promising technologies. NOTE: The Board will issue a Solicitation for each Program funding cycle, which describes Application requirements for an Award under that Solicitation, including specific selection criteria for Projects. The Solicitation will specify available Award amounts and the dates during which Applications may be submitted (the “Solicitation Period”). A particular Solicitation may target and be limited to certain types of Projects and Eligible Entities. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  7. 7. Eligibility: Who may apply? According to the NCGBF legislation and Guidelines: • Private businesses with less than 100 employees, • Nonprofit organizations, • Local governments, and • State agencies RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  8. 8. Eligibility (cont.) In the 2008-2009 Solicitation – • Private businesses with less than 100 employees, • Nonprofit organizations, • Local governments, and • State agencies However! Eligible entities are allowed and encouraged to form partnerships. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  9. 9. Eligibility (cont.) • Applicant must be an Eligible Entity with its Principal Place of Business in North Carolina. • Applicant may not apply for a second Award for activity for which the Applicant has already received an Award. • Any Applicant that, in the judgment of the Board, has failed to correct a material breach of an Award agreement or of any grant agreement under any program administered by the Board or the State of North Carolina is ineligible to submit an Application. • Applicant must satisfy any other eligibility requirements established by the Board and published in a Solicitation. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  10. 10. The Proposed Project will (be) • Technically sound with the necessary technical, financial and management capacity; • Undertaken in a collaborative and innovative manner as appropriate (i.e. partnerships); • Commercialize any newly developed innovations and related intellectual property, developed during the Performance Period, in a timely manner in relevant market sectors; and • Ensure that funding is necessary and that the Project proceeds in a manner to ensure broad benefits to North Carolinians. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  11. 11. Awards • No Green Business Fund Award may exceed $100,000 • Matching Funds are not required for this Program but are encouraged and will be considered as a factor in the evaluation of Proposals. • Awards may be used in conjunction with other financing or grant activities; however, the Board will not provide duplicate funds for essentially equivalent work funded under another program. • It is the intent of this Solicitation to maximize the Program’s impact across a broad array of promising projects. Therefore, applications requesting significantly less than the $100,000 maximum amount are strongly encouraged. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  12. 12. Writing a NC Green Business Fund Proposal
  13. 13. Sections of a NCGBF Grant Proposal • A detailed description of the Project (a.k.a. Narrative) Statement of Problem OR Opportunity o MUST relate to a Priority area! o Goal of the Project o Project Needs o Project Objectives o Outcomes (S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, o Realistic, Timely) • A detailed Statement of Work Who, When, Where, How o RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  14. 14. 3. How the Project promotes North Carolina’s: • “Green” Business Portfolio, • Economic development, • Create jobs, • Create innovative green products, services, or processes 4. Budget Narrative/Justification • Amount requested and why, • Matching or In-kind Contributions 5. Detailed Project Budget • Line Item Cost or Estimates • NOTE: Make sure the costs are allowed! RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  15. 15. Organizing the proposal Use a Logic Model INPUTS PROBLEM GOAL Outcome Str Act Outcome Need Objective ate iviti gies es Need Objective Outcome Need Objective Outcome Outcome OUTPUTS RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  16. 16. “Grease” or “Hook” • Reviewers will read 3-5 proposals @ 25 pages or a minimum . • CATCH their attention with a story or information related to your project. • The “grease” can be anecdotal but make sure it fits your proposal. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  17. 17. Project Narrative • Problem OR Opportunity statement  “Company X is well positioned to address alternative energy as…” • Make sure that your project addresses a Priority Area.  “Our project addresses Priority area….” • Relate the Problem or Opportunity to the Goal!  “NCGBF will allow Company X to increase energy output in a sustainable manner….” • Clear and concise writing. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  18. 18. Example: Ward’s Inc. has been in the business of providing construction for residential and commercial construction, especially on brownfield properties. Ward’s has noticed that quite of bit of energy is wasted by cutting down trees that are ultimately replanted with newer smaller plants which require more watering from the ground, fertilizers, twines, water bladders, earth moving, erosion than leaving the trees where they area. Ward’s has also noticed that removing the trees reduces the aesthetic of new neighborhoods, increases erosion and run-off, affects the Neuse River Basin, and in general has a negative impact on the environment. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  19. 19. Needs and Objectives • State your Needs and Objectives and how the NC Green Business Fund will assist you: “Company X needs funding to hire 5 additional technicians to…” o “NC Green Business Funds will allow Company X to employ 5 o technicians at $XX.XX an hour for XX# of hours to…” • Make sure that each need logically connects to each objective and that there is/are outcome(s). RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  20. 20. Example: Ward’s Inc. has also done some research and had discussions with organizations in German, France, and the UK about construction practices that resolve the ultimate challenge: cost for clear cutting versus keeping old growth trees as interrelated to future energy and environmental efficiencies for new construction. Having identified this “new” approach that is proven outside the US, they have come up with a proposal that they believe overcomes the US calculations for clear-cutting and need to “adapt” the approach for the US market – partly in financial calculations, partly in validating the savings, and setting up a model establishment. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  21. 21. Work Plan • Remember to explain what each person will do! • You can use a Gantt Chart or simply outline what each person will do and when. • In the Work Plan you will specify the Activities and Strategies you will use. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  22. 22. Gantt Chart RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  23. 23. Activities (cont) • Describe the people involved, the facilities, and your resources – like matching funds etc. CAUTION: What is Match or In-kind contribution? • Make sure the people involved are qualified or have experience to work on the project. • Describe the facilities – explain why you are using the place for the project. • Do you have any resources? If so, describe what they are and why they are important…. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  24. 24. Example: Ward’s Inc. has identified the North Carolina construction association as a partner willing to put in 50% of the cost and are asking for the NCGBF for the other half ($75,000). They plan to publish their results to all North Carolina based builders, provide seminars to interested builders, and incorporate the approach into all their future construction projects assuming a positive outcome (same cost or less than clear-cutting) measured as a result of the experiment on the house over a year’s period of time. They have a “base-line” house to compare against and can provide the data and costs of the current approach if requested. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  25. 25. Promoting North Carolina’s “Green” Economy Two dimensions to consider: North Carolina Green Create and Retain Jobs Increase/Improve Resource Efficiency Generate Revenue for NC Companies Reduce Pollutant Emissions/Effluents Increase Taxes for NC Reduce Carbon Footprint Distribution of Growth across NC Reduce Use of Non-renewable CountiesDirect Measurable Benefits Resources, Cleanup, Reclamation, 2-3 year Recycling Remediation Business Plan Showing Break-even Global Best Practices Analysis Measureable Success(es) in Previous “Simulation” Showing Effect Above Previous Demonstrated Success(es) in Above RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  26. 26. Also consider: • An explanation of how an NCGBF award will help move your project closer to success, • “Simulation” Showing Effect of your project, • Prototype of product or process produced and/or tested, • Completion of market analysis – what does the market look like? How do you know? • Address potential barriers RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  27. 27. Example: Foundation for commercial application. Completing _______ will help ____ pursue and secure financing for the planned next business phase of producing a blow molded _____ to appeal and sell in targeted markets throughout the state, southeast, and nationwide. We anticipate this product to be very successful, our sales target is to take orders for 40,000 _____ for the seasonal 8 months starting in early spring and run into late fall. As orders are taken and delivered we will re-assess our target market and look at expanding sales into areas that are experiencing drought conditions and growth that surpasses their water needs. With our municipal orders we will sell and provide our product in a 100% recycled content. Future development for the proposed ________, once the project has been deemed successful, will be to expand the current marketing strategy and begin reaching a broader market such as garden centers and home improvement stores with options for a proprietary brand name on our product. The significance of our success is that by producing our product from 100% recycled content and sourcing post consumer plastics we are strengthening the businesses of local processors. Choosing a blow molding facility in North Carolina will create jobs and stimulate the local economy. By targeting our market to NC municipalities this will also provide a means for North Carolina’s citizens to contribute to preserving one of our precious and most threatened natural resources, water, which will in turn benefit the environmental health of our state. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  28. 28. Outcomes • How you will measure success – these can be referred to as Milestones and Deliverables. • Examples: # of people hired o # of units produced or new process created o % decrease in pollution or waste o • Remember outcomes are S.M.A.R.T. – (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) and indicate the success of your project! RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  29. 29. Example: Ward’s estimates a total cost savings and environmental impact of 10% and 10% each respectively for a total of 20% savings based on the cost of the construction which amounts to an estimated savings to the community and the property owner of about $20,000 per year for new residential construction and about $50,000 per year for new commercial construction. The company expects the energy savings to further the leverage of power producer infrastructure in a region for an additional 2-3 years resulting from this savings and a net impact on both soil and water resources reducing the water treatment and run off effects to stretch out needed infrastructure for an additional 1-2 years. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  30. 30. Budgeting • Make sure your budget is reasonable: o Each item or service is listed with the number of units o Provide a total for that line item o Then total all the line items • USE A SPREADSHEET PROGRAM (i.e. Excel) AND ALWAYS CHECK YOUR NUMBERS!!!! • If you have questions about what is or is not an allowable cost refer to the Solicitation! • If your questions remain unanswered – contact our office! RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  31. 31. Budgeting (cont) • Most budgets will have three elements: a budget summary, a budget detail, and a budget narrative. • The Budget summary provides the funding agency a quick synopsis of total expenditures in major categories. Categories: Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel, Equipment, Supplies, o Contractual, Construction (not often an expense allowed by the funding agency), Other, and Indirect Costs (sometimes called Administrative Costs, or Facilities and Administration Costs). o Example:  “Employee pay rate: 40 hrs/week @ $25.00/hr – pay rate is the average for this industry.” RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  32. 32. Budgeting (cont) • Providing a thoroughly detailed budget demonstrates that you have carefully thought about your fiscal needs, but does not prohibit making changes to the budget during the project period. Your expenses may change – THAT’S OK! • A detailed budget will help you communicate with the reviewers. If your budget is well detailed, then you are able to discuss with the funding agency how you don’t need to spend funds for a particular item as was originally planned. • Make sure your expense are allowed! RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  33. 33. Budget Detail • “Detail” means to provide details on what you are buying with the grant funds and how the costs for these items are derived. For example, don’t say that money will be spent to buy a computer o quot;Computer workstationquot;, specify the type of computer. • The Budget Detail also explains how many units you will need or multipliers… For example: Dell Inspiron 2500 computer @ $2,500.00 x 6 computers o for each person in management. Total is $15,000.00 o These multipliers should be explained for each budget line so that the person reading the grant application is able to understand how the costs were derived. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  34. 34. Budget Narrative or Budget Justification • The budget narrative is an explanation for your line item costs indicated in your budget detail. • Develop the budget summary, budget detail, and budget narrative at the same time so they match. • If the budget summary has four categories (such as Personnel, Travel, Equipment, and Contractual), then line items in the budget detail should be organized under these same categories (with subtotals for each category), and text in the budget narrative should be written for these same categories. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  35. 35. Budgeting (cont) • List all Matching cash contributions AND the monetary value of non-cash contributions. Remember the example company?: o  “They have identified the North Carolina construction association as a partner willing to put in 50% of the cost and are asking for the NCGBF for the other half ($75,000).” • ALWAYS make sure the budget balances to the penny! RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  36. 36. An Example Budget RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  37. 37. Example (cont) RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  38. 38. One Last Budget Item: • Cash or In-Kind Matching Contributions • Match or in-kind contributions are those made by a third party to the grant (someone other than your organization) • Match or in-kind can be volunteer hours, donation of equipment, use of facility space, etc. • With cash and/or in-kind contributions, it will be necessary to detail their dollar value. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  39. 39. A Few Final Thoughts… • If you are unsure of what to do – READ THE SOLICITATION or call our office! • Edit, edit, edit! • Treat grant writing as a project! • Do NOT wait until the last minute to obtain your DUNS number or other information. • Complete the application and submit your proposal. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  40. 40. A Few More… • Complete as much of your on-line application as possible weeks ahead of the submission deadline! • To access the application go to and click on the link for sciGrants sciGrants RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  41. 41. Ok, one more…. For assistance with a NC Green Business Fund proposal contact your local Small Business Technology Development Center – or related agency…. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  42. 42. Tips to Grant Writing A BAKER’S DOZEN • Identify the one person who will be the ‘band conductor,’ in charge of the overall product, able to fulfill any role in producing the proposal, and invested with the authority to make final decisions. • Review the RFP in detail, underlining, highlighting and otherwise marking up important elements to keep in mind. • Make your goal(s) the same as the funder’s purpose. • Create a logic map, showing the relationship among major constructs (e.g., problem, need, goal, objectives, strategies. • Organize the narrative to model the RFP exactly, using the same sections, titles, headers and terminology. • In writing narrative, adhere to the functions of the first, middle and ending sentences in a paragraph and sequence your paragraphs so as to “Tell them what you’re going to tell them,” “Tell them,” and “Tell them what you told them.” RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  43. 43. Tips (cont) • Be careful that your proposal is not a mile wide and only an inch deep. • Write the abstract (or program summary) last, drawing from sentences and phrases in the narrative. • Find a couple of people who will review the narrative and critically mark it up. • Build a balanced budget appropriate to your needs and the scope and objectives of your program, and one that is not heavy on personnel or equipment. • Draft letters of support yourself for agencies to review, and begin collecting these early. • Aim to complete the proposal two or three days before the deadline, including the collection of all required signatures. • Write in the active voice where the subject of the sentence is doing the action (e.g., “Susan ran to first base.”). The active voice is a more succinct form of writing and easier to understand compared to the passive voice. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  44. 44. How Do I Apply?
  45. 45. How Do I Apply? • Four (4) BIG steps with lots of little ones in between: Step 1: READ THE SOLICITATION! READ THE SOLICITATION! READ THE SOLICITATION! RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  46. 46. Step 2: Create a sciGrants account – RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  47. 47. • Before you begin an application, you will be asked 5 eligibility questions: RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  48. 48. • If you answer all the questions correctly, you will come to a login screen Most will begin here! RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  49. 49. • Once you create an account, you will be brought to the Application Welcome Page • Scroll down and at the bottom of the page you will click on » Start a New Application « NOTE RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  50. 50. You will be able to track your progress at the top of the on-line application At the bottom of every page you may Save and Proceed RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  51. 51. • Sections 3-6 of the application will ask for specific and estimated information related to your project…. Specific Some Estimates RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  52. 52. Two Important Points: • Once you complete your application and upload your proposal, sciGrants will generate an Application Reference Number that you need for your Application Certification and Location Certification Documents. This number will be sent to you via email. • DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO UPLOAD YOUR PROPOSAL AND RECEIVE YOUR APPLICATION REFERENCE NUMBER BECAUSE…. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  53. 53. 2. Required Documents: You will download the required documents from the same place where you begin an application: • A Application Certification Document. • A Location Certification Document – this document MUST be notarized • Excel Budget Spreadsheet. The Application Certification and Location Certification Documents require the Application Reference Number from sciGrants… RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  54. 54. Step 3: Required Supporting Documents Section: In this section you will upload your Proposal and Excel Budget Spreadsheet as one document in Adobe PDF format. At the bottom of the section you will click on “Save and Proceed” On the last step make sure to review all your information and then click the “Submit” button at the bottom of this final section. This afternoon we will cover the required sections of the Proposal. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  55. 55. Step 4: You will mail the following: • A Application Certification Document. • A Location Certification Document – this document MUST be notarized • A copy of the Applicant’s Articles of Incorporation and by-laws, trust indenture, or partnership agreement. • A Certificate of Existence or Certificate of Authority for the Applicant issued within ninety (90) days of the date of Application by the North Carolina Secretary of State pursuant to G.S. 55-1-28, and 57C-1-28. To order a copy please visit: o RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  56. 56. Review Process: Application & Merit Review Process NC Green Business Fund Promulgates Applicant Submits guidelines & online application to Four Stage Process of Review: applications NCBST Returned to GA Stage I – Review by Grant Administrator Stage I: GA *Five (5) business day Reviews period to revise & application for resubmits online completeness If Incomplete on application to NCBST Stage II – Review by Executive Director first submission If complete Stage II: ED Stage III – Advisory Board Members Reviews Rejected application for compliance If Incomplete on second submission Stage IV – Executive Director If complete Stage III: Advisory Completes Grant Board Members Agreement Package review application. & submits to NCBST If awarded Reviews Grant Agreement Package for compliance Makes electronic grant award to small business RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  57. 57. Advisory Committee An Advisory Committee will review application and make recommendations to the Board on the specific selection criteria to be applied under each Solicitation, and the specific Projects that it determines best meet these criteria. RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  58. 58. Dates To Remember • Release of the 2008-2009 Solicitation – December 8th • Pre-Proposals using sciGrants Due on January 9th, 2009 by 11:59 pm – NO EXCEPTIONS! • Invitation sent via email to submit full Project Proposal – January 30th, 2009. • Proposals and all required documents DUE on March 30th, 2009 by 11:59 pm (EST) – NO EXCEPTIONS! • Awards announced – June 1st RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  59. 59. Green Resource Directory A very good resource to find funding opportunities – The North Carolina Green Economic Resource Directory: RV Rikard NCBST (c) 2008
  60. 60. NC Green Business Fund Grant Workshop R.V. Rikard Department of Commerce NC Board of Science & Technology Office: 919-716-0110 Cell: 919-414-0891