Turf wars and talent battles—so much of communities’ inability to break down the silos of entrepreneurial support to fully collaborate and build a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem stems from fear of competition: of losing money, businesses, talent and jobs to other organizations or neighboring regions.
But in our work building entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country, we've found that those those communities that have built vibrant ecosystems focus on "growing this own" companies in addition to attracting big business from other regions. They develop and wield strategic resources to help the startups born in their regions accelerate and scale.
So this next sentence is ripe opportunity. As part of a new strategic plan, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is developing a portfolio of grants to support entrepreneurs and to better understand how successful programs and initiatives work. As part of that effort, the foundation is accepting grant proposals from organizations that are exempt from taxes under sections 501(c)(3) or 115(2) of the Internal Revenue Code and that are seeking to expand programs that demonstrate evidence of success in supporting entrepreneurs in the United States.
In particular, the foundation seeks organizations that are helping entrepreneurs solve some or all of the challenges identified, have a track record of outcomes that demonstrate success in helping entrepreneurs solve these problems and have a well-conceived plan for scaling or expanding successful programs or initiatives to reach more entrepreneurs.
They are especially interested in working with organizations that are eager to develop learning or research agendas that can help the foundation identify the best ways to support entrepreneurs. The foundation expects to disburse up to $2 million in the form of grants that are between $250,000 and $500,000 each, paid over two years.
The deadline for applications is July 31, 2015.