Emerging Together With Prosper Portland

Leadership Begins with Opportunity


And yet, we recognize that for small businesses, creating a dynamic internship program from scratch may feel out of reach.

We’re Here To Help

Together, we can create meaningful opportunities for young students of color while elevating the talent and diversity of your small business.

This winter, Prosper Portland and Emerging Leaders PDX will select 12 small businesses to receive a Small Business Internship Grant. By placing one of the region’s most talented students of color with a paid internship at your business, we can provide unique learning opportunities to young leaders while developing new, diverse talent to meet your strategic needs. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to elevate Portland’s small businesses by providing growth opportunities and diversifying our talent pipeline.

Your small business will provide a meaningful experience and mentorship to a young diverse leader who will in turn bring unique insight and energy to your organization.

Award Amounts

Financial grants will cover a portion of the Emerging Leaders intern placement fee and up to 70% of the intern’s salary for a 10-week internship with a minimum pay of $15/hour and a minimum work week of 30 hours.

Grant amounts will vary based on the applicant’s financial capacity but will not exceed $5,350. While all grant recipients will be required to make a monetary investment, that investment will not exceed $2,400.


To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 50 employees, must be located in the Portland metro area and sell some of their products and/or services to people and businesses outside the Portland region, and must be new to the Emerging Leaders Internship program.

Preference will be given to the following:

  • Minority-Owned, Women-Owned and Emerging Small Businesses (MWESB)

  • Businesses with people of color in executive leadership and/or board leadership positions

  • Businesses in Targeted Traded Sector Industries:

    • Athletic & Outdoor

    • Green Cities & Clean Tech

    • Advanced Manufacturing & Metal & Machinery

    • Technology & Media (software)

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Process and Timing

Application Opens | December 3, 2018

Application Deadline | extended to january 4, 2019

Recipient Selection Process by Committee of Local Leaders | January 2019

Grant Winners Announced | February 2019

ELI Candidate Mock Interview Event at University of Portland (Company Attendance Optional) | March 2, 2019

ELI Candidate Matching and Interviews with Partner Companies/Small Businesses | April 2019

Grow With Us

We invite you to explore our website to learn more about Emerging Leaders.

Questions? Email eli@portlandleadership.org 

With enthusiasm, we encourage all who qualify to apply!

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. january 4, 2019. Winners will be announced February 2019.