NAE Community Stars – Building The Future of Free Enterprise

Working to Bring Forward the Next Generation of Free Enterprise

The National Association of Entrepreneurship, in conjunction with Champions of Free Enterprise and our members recognize the important role knowledge and  leadership skills play in students lives and future. Equipping a student with a set of lifelong knowledge references and understanding can affect individuals, peer groups, or a whole community.

NAE's "Community Stars" program is designed to help organizations who strive to make a positive impact, by providing grants to assist community organizations and schools in teaching free enterprise knowledge and leadership skills. The program is made possible by NAE members' individual sponsorship support, which directly funds Community Stars grants. All grants are made via sponsor-secured funding, and are authorized when NAE members, individually or in groups, commit to sponsorship funding. 

Who May Apply for "Community Stars" Grants

Grants are available to municipalities, counties, school districts, special-purpose districts, tribal governments, and other public entities, as well as non-profits, charter schools, churches as well as homeschool/community groups. Qualifying organizations must work with students, age ten through college, and have the legal authority necessary to seek funding and implement programs. They must also have a pre-selected study course, vendor or program plan (CFE Future Leaders Programs Qualify). Grant applicants from economically-disadvantaged communities are processed with a higher priority.

Fund Uses

Grant funds may be used to develop and implement knowledge-building instructional programs in conjunction with existing study programs. Grant funds may be used for learning and service-based programs, including the purchase of education programs, materials, facility usage charges, community outreach items and professional services, but are not available for funding capital improvements. A grant may be made to supplement other financial assistance secured by applicant.

Maximum Grant

The amount of a grant award depends on the number of program participants, the likely impact on the applicant's greater community, and the availability of committed grant funds secured through NAE member sponsors. While grant assistance may be available for up to 95% of project costs, in most cases, grants are awarded to supplement other funds or grant awards secured by highly enthusiastic applicants. Projects awarded grants are selected through a priority point system.

Projects receiving priority include those that:

  • Have long-standing presence - with significant community history.
  • Serve low-income communities - especially projects in communities where median household incomes are below the poverty line or the State's median household income.
  • Provide education, public awareness, or public and community services.


Grant funds cannot be used to pay:

  • Annual, recurring, or on-going program costs like salaries or other operating expenses (some exceptions may apply).
  • Costs of constructing or repairing physical facilities, organization facilities, or any capital improvement. " For programs that will be re-sold to participants (some exceptions may apply)".

Application Processing

Applications are submitted through the NAE Community Stars Application process, NAE staff will be glad to discuss a group's needs, qualifications, and the grant application process. Detailed information and applications for financial assistance are available through the NAE.

For information, call NAE Community Services at 800-497-6950

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