Traditionally, businesses in Silicon Valley or New York have had an advantage over those in South Dakota or Arkansas thanks to robust accelerators on the coasts. But a new initiative from the U.S. Small Business Administration is looking to equal the funding playing field.

Today, SBA’s administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced the launch of a $2.5 million competition aimed at strengthening access to capital throughout the country. The announcement was made at the kickoff to the group’s annual Small Business Week events in San Francisco, held this year at Twitter’s headquarters.

According to a statement the SBA released this morning, the competition will allow entrepreneurial models to compete for prizes of $50,000 apiece, helping to fund operating budgets and fill in gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The competition will give special consideration to accelerators that support manufacturing as well as those that support women or other underrepresented groups. 

Applications are due August 2, 2014.