Press Release
October 19, 2022

Antares Awards $1M in Grants to Underrepresented Founders in Partnership with Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network

40 Early-Stage Small Businesses to Receive $20,000 Grants, With Opportunity to Receive an Additional $5,000


CHICAGO — Antares today announced the recipients of $1M in grants as part of the firm’s REACH program, which was first launched in June of this year. This inaugural grant program was created in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and Hello Alice, a multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow, to help level the playing field for entrepreneurs within underrepresented groups including women, people of color, military-affiliated personnel, persons with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

In total, 40 grants of $20,000 were awarded to early-stage small businesses led by diverse and underrepresented founders. Of the recipients, which were chosen from a pool of over 100,000 applications, 90 percent are businesses led by individuals of color, and 88 percent are led by females or gender non-conforming persons. Companies from over a dozen varied industries led by founders from 4 distinct generations are represented. The founders will use the grants to introduce products, expand their regional presence, and further promote a positive social impact within the communities in which they operate.

“Each grant recipient underscores REACH’s core mission of supporting diverse and historically underrepresented founders and ensuring they have the resources needed to expand their businesses,” said Mary (Gaede) Rose, managing director and head of the REACH program at Antares. “We are thrilled to support these companies and enhance the flow of capital at a foundational level, expanding diversity in the ecosystem of business on the pathway toward private equity.”

To qualify, businesses must have a viable product or service with less than $5M in annual revenue and they must be operated by entrepreneurs of historically underrepresented groups. In addition to the $20,000 grant, all recipients will be eligible to receive an additional $5,000 grant after completing a post-grant report. They will also be given access to professional development opportunities through Hello Alice.

“We are proud to be partnering with Antares and GEN to support underrepresented founders in some of their earliest – and most challenging – stages of growing their businesses,” said Carolyn Rodz, Co-Founder and CEO of Hello Alice. “These grants will play an important role in accelerating the growth of each company, while leveling the overall playing field for diverse entrepreneurs across the country.”

This announcement comes just one year after women-founded companies received less than 2 percent of capital invested in VC-backed startups in the US, and Black-owned startups received just over 1 percent. REACH aims to address this discrepancy by expanding access to capital for these historically underrepresented groups at their earliest foundational stages.

“The Antares REACH Grant is very significant and restorative to me and my manufacturing business because kubé is building regenerative food systems that exist to restore life, health, joy, dignity and equity back to people, animals and the soil. With this grant, I will create good paying production jobs to meet our growing demand,” said Kai Nortey, CEO, Co-Founder of kubé.

“We know and live the needs of the recovery community every day. To have the resources to meet those needs is a rare opportunity. We plan to improve not only the business but the lives of our staff, clients and community,” said Dr. Teresa Walker, owner, New Leaf Clinic.

REACH is a key tenet of Antares’ We Build Community efforts, which focuses on grassroots organizations that support historically underrepresented groups and give back to the communities where Antares’ employees live and work. To learn more about the grant program, visit

About Hello Alice
Hello Alice is a free platform that provides small business owners the tools, resources and access to funding they need to grow their businesses. With a community of over 800,000 business owners in all 50 states, Hello Alice is building the largest community of small business owners in the country while tracking data and trends to increase the success rate for that group. Our partners include enterprise business services, government agencies, and institutions looking to serve small- and medium-business owners to ensure increased revenues and promote scale. A Latina owned company, founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, we believe in business for all by providing access to all small business owners including women, people of color, veterans, and everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more, visit, as well as TwitterLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook.

About Antares
With more than $55 billion of capital under management and administration as of June 30, 2022, Antares is a private debt credit manager and a leading provider of financing and investment solutions for middle-market private equity-backed borrowers and investors. Since its founding in 1996, Antares has built one of the industry’s largest and longest-tenured portfolios of middle market companies and has been recognized by industry organizations as a leading provider of middle market private debt. Through its Asset Management & Funding team, Antares offers investors the opportunity to invest in collateralized loan obligations, funds and separately managed accounts. Antares is committed to championing middle market growth throughout market cycles. Doing so allows its people, partners and communities to achieve their full potential. The company maintains offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. Visit Antares at or follow the company on LinkedIn at Antares Capital is a subsidiary of Antares Holdings LP, (collectively, “Antares”).

About the Global Entrepreneurship Network
The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates projects and programs in 200 countries to make it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. By fostering deeper cross border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier start and scale ecosystems that create more jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth. For more information, visit


Antares Capital
Carol Ann Wharton