Back in March, Idea Foundry launched our Equitable Entrepreneurship program to support entrepreneurs and small business owners that are often under-served in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, due in part to support from a grant awarded by Google.org's Impact Challenge Pittsburgh. After our first application, evaluation, and enrollment periods, our inaugural cohort of 5, representing three African-American and two Immigrant entrepreneurs, are now participating in our program. 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 under the belief that business development services and investment should be accessible to anyone who has a business idea and the drive to bring it forward. Additionally, while other Idea Foundry programs are focused on high-growth startups, the EE program is open to all types of small businesses.
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!”
While we are very excited about our first cohort, this doesn't mean we are going to slow down in our efforts to promote diversity in entrepreneurship. We plan to support 10 companies this year through the EE program, with the goal of expanding in subsequent years. That being said, Idea Foundry will begin it's next application cycle for the second cohort from August 15 - September 15. For more information on the EE program visit: www.ideafoundry.org/EquitableEntrepreneurship/.
Also be sure to check out the story written about our EE program in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: $50,000 in Google Funds Will Boost Minority and Immigrant Entrepreneurs
With interest in applying or partnering with Idea Foundry, email email@example.com.