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Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grant Program

Grants to USA Agencies, Tribes, IHEs, Rural Non-Profit Cooperatives,
Businesses, and Private Entities for Rural Development Initiatives

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development, Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to USA government agencies, Tribes, IHEs, rural non-profit cooperatives, businesses, and private entities for rural development initiatives. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to finalize. The program is intended to provide financial assistance to support job accelerator partnerships that improve the ability of distressed rural and energy communities to create high wage jobs, accelerate the formation of new businesses, and help rural communities identify and maximize local assets.

Grant funds may be used to pay for costs directly related to the purchase or construction of an innovation center located in a rural area; costs directly related to operations of an innovation center including purchase of equipment, office supplies, and administrative costs including salaries directly related to the project; costs directly associated with support programs to be carried out at or in direct partnership with job accelerators; reasonable and customary travel expenses directly related to job accelerators and at rates in compliance with 2 CFR 200.474; utilities, operating expenses of the innovation center and job accelerator programs and associated programs; and administrative costs of the grantee not exceeding 10% of the grant amount for the duration of the project. 

Project Eligibility:

  • All project activities must be for the benefit of communities, industries and residents located in a rural area, as defined in 7 CFR 4284.1103. The applicant is cautioned against taking any actions or incurring any obligations prior to the Agency completing the environmental review that would either limit the range of alternatives to be considered or that would have an adverse effect on the environment, such as the initiation of construction. If the applicant takes any such actions or incurs any such obligations, it could result in project ineligibility.
  • Projects involving the construction of an innovation center as an eligible purpose are subject to the environmental requirements of 7 CFR part 1970, local building codes and all Federal, State, and local accessibility standards. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 196899

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum award per grant is $500,000 and the maximum award amount per grant is $2,000,000.

Term of Contract:

Your application must include no more than a four-year grant period, or it will not be considered for funding. The grant period should begin no earlier than October 1, 2021, and no later than January 1, 2022. Applications that request funds for a project with a performance period ending after January 1, 2026, will not be considered for funding. Projects must be completed within a four-year timeframe. Prior approval is needed from the Agency if you are awarded a grant and desire the grant period to begin earlier or later than previously discussed or approved.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Independent school districts
  • Indian housing authorities
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Public housing authorities
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Small businesses
  • Special district governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

(1) Applicant Eligibility
To be considered an eligible applicant, you must be a rural jobs accelerator partnership formed on or after December 20, 2018, and meet the eligibility criteria found in 7 CFR 4282.1112 to apply for this program. The rural jobs accelerator partnership must include one or more representatives of the following:
(a) A state, Tribal or local government;
(b) A state, Tribal, or local government entity;
(c) A land-grant college or university or other institution of higher education, as defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001);
(d) A rural non-profit cooperative; or,
(e) A private entity, which may include a business in an industry cluster, economic development or community development organization, financial institution including a community development financial institution, philanthropic organization, or labor organization.

(2) Lead Applicant Eligibility
The rural jobs accelerator partnership must also have a lead applicant who is responsible for the administration of the grant proceeds and activities. A lead applicant must be one of the following entities:
(a) A district organization;
(b) An Indian Tribe, or a political subdivision of an Indian Tribe, including a special purpose unit of an Indian Tribe, or a consortium of Indian Tribes;
(c) A state or a political subdivision of a state, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions;
(d) An institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001) or a consortium of institutions of higher education;
(e) A public or private nonprofit organization.

Additional Eligibility Requirements can be found at

Pre-proposal Conference:

The USDA Rural Development Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) is hosting a Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Application Webinar on Thursday, July 15th at 11:30 am specifically to answer frequently asked questions to assist stakeholders and potential applicants learn more about the funding opportunity.

Register for Webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

Completed applications must be submitted electronically by no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, August 2, 2021, through, to be eligible for grant funding.

You are encouraged to contact your USDA Rural Development State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss your project and ask any questions about the RISE program or application process.

Grant funds may be used to pay for up to 80 percent of eligible project costs. Your matching funds requirement is 20 percent of the total eligible project costs of any activity carried out using RISE grant funds.

To use, you must already have a DUNS number and you must also be registered and maintain registration in SAM.

View this opportunity on

Recorded Webinar:

RISE Application FAQ Webinar:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Will Dodson, Rural Business-Cooperative Service
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Mail Stop-3226, Room 5160-South
Washington, DC 20250– 3226
(202) 720–1400 or email

Contact information for State Offices can be found at

CFDA Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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