Launches $750K Manifest Grants Program for US SMBs

Alibaba, NFT, South China Morning Post

B2B eCommerce market has rolled out its second annual small business grants program, a press release said Wednesday (Sept. 14).

Called the Manifest Grants Program, the $750,000 fund will promote innovation in U.S. small and midsized businesses (SMBs) and boost competition.

The grants are in partnership with Hello Alice, a free resource for small business growth. The Manifest Grants Program will help eCommerce entrepreneurs get ahead. Last year there were 50 small businesses selected to get a $10,000 grant, with the press release touting that 80% were persons of color and 78% were founded by women.

This year the company partnered with Hello Alice again, and the number of grant awards will be boosted by 50% to help SMBs with the pain points in scaling their businesses.

“We believe there are three ways to help SMBs stay competitive: reducing costs, simplifying the sourcing process, and building brand equity,” said Stephen Kuo, president of North America. “That’s why we designed this year’s Manifest Grants Program to highlight the creativity of small business owners and provide the tools for them to strengthen the competitiveness of their products. We are proud to offer not only increased cash grants but also unique opportunities for our grant recipients to access more capital and join’s thriving community of small business owners.”

Meanwhile, Alibaba was reportedly getting closer to being removed from American stock exchanges as Beijing refused to let U.S. inspectors look into the company audits, PYMNTS wrote.

Read more: Alibaba Gets Closer to U.S. Delisting

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) added Alibaba to a list of companies that could be removed over the audit situation.

The publication of a business’s name on that list starts off a three-year countdown to final delisting. Many countries allow for U.S. audit inspections, though China and Hong Kong have cited national security concerns as they declined to do so.