Idea Foundry launched their new Equitable Entrepreneurship program in March 2018, funded in part by a grant awarded by Google.org’s Impact Challenge Pittsburgh, to support entrepreneurs and small business owners that are often under-served in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Just as the entrepreneurs in this cohort are diverse, so too are their businesses, from a financial literacy program to a solution to local office supply needs.
“This program is designed to give entrepreneurs the support they need to get started, so that they can grow their businesses, create jobs, and shape our community,” said Anna Cala, Business Operations Manager, who oversees the execution of the Equitable Entrepreneurship program. Aldrea Reese-Brown, an EE participant looking to start a financial literacy business, has given voice to the EE program’s objective of empowering entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into a viable business, saying “I leave our meetings encouraged that my ideas can really take life!”
Evgeny Kostromskoy, an EE participant whose business eases the process of buying and selling houses, says about Idea Foundry’s application process, “we heard about Idea Foundry through an event at Pitt and we found that their process was very open, with feedback along the way which has already been helpful for us.”
The Equitable Entrepreneurship program offers loans of up to $10,000, comprised of three months of individualized business development services valued at up to $5,000 and up to $5,000 in cash investment to cover costs of business implementation. While other Idea Foundry programs focus on high-growth innovations and social enterprises, the Equitable Entrepreneurship program expands Idea Foundry’s applicant scope to include traditional small businesses as well. Idea Foundry is also committed to working with partner organizations to best reach and serve diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners.
During its first year, Idea Foundry will support up to 10 companies through the EE program, with the goal of expanding in subsequent years. Idea Foundry will begin the application cycle for its second cohort in early Fall 2018. For more information visit the Equitable Entrepreneurship Program.
Read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's article on our program: $50,000 in Google Funds Will Boost Minority and Immigrant Entrepreneurs