RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There’s a new program helping Wake County entrepreneurs get their hands on up to $8,000 to start a business.

The Main Street Entrepreneurs Accelerator program is a five-week training session for small business owners in Wake County and students at Wake Tech, Saint Augustine’s and Shaw universities.

The program helps them learn how to jump-start their small business.

“How do we help reduce the barrier to capital and help them create the business that they want to create,” said Cherith Roberson with Wake Tech.

Wake Tech said once participants go through a free training program, they’ll be invited to a pitch competition if their business is ready and they have a shot at winning between $2,000 and $8,000.

“They can use them for business expenses like paying for attorneys, paying for graphic work. But the business expenses really need to show that they’re going to take their business to the next level,” Roberson said.

It comes as several businesses here in the Triangle are closing their doors and people are losing jobs. Wake Tech hopes the program spurs more businesses and more jobs being created here in the Triangle.

“Not only are they taking care of themselves and their family but they’re also employing other folks who want to work for a small business,” Roberson said.

To be eligible, applicants must be a “historically underutilized” business, household income must be within three times the federal poverty level and have invested at least $1,000 of your own money into the business.

For more information, click here.