Urban Innovation21 Announces Grant Competition for Hill District Based Businesses, Becomes a Kiva Trustee
Urban Innovation21 has launched its first grant competition to assist Hill District community-based businesses. This initiative aims to provide business capital to entrepreneurs who reside and/or operate a small, for profit business in the Hill District. Up to $50,000 will be awarded.
A public-private partnership, Urban Innovation21 advances our region’s innovation economy and works to include underserved communities in prosperity opportunities. The organization has awarded over $300,000 in grants to technology businesses that are part of its Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone Program (PCKIZ).
“In part because of technology grants and other PCKIZ incentives, a cluster of technology companies are now located in the Greater Hill District,” said William Generett Jr., president of Urban Innovation21. “With this new grant program, we look forward to connecting community-based businesses to the innovation economy ecosystem.”
Supply chain, support and service businesses owned by residents of the Hill District, and located in this community are strongly encouraged to apply.
Urban Innovation21 will be granting one award of $10,000; six awards of $5,000; and up to 20 match awards of $500 toward a no interest micro-loan from Kiva Zip of up to $5,000. Additionally, three technical support awards to raise funds through a crowd-funding platform will be awarded.
In order to provide assistance in non-traditional, innovative ways, the organization has become a Kiva trustee and will be endorsing entrepreneurs for the Kiva Zip zero interest loans. Leveraging the Internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva currently has over one million individual lenders that provide small loans to entrepreneurs.
“Great work is being done by a lot of organizations and people to help make the Hill District a great community for all. We need to make sure that Hill District Businesses can take advantage of that success,” said city Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. “We look forward to seeing our business owners gain proper visibility and funding options”.
The Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation are funding this effort.
With additional funds from the Surdna Foundation, Urban Innovation21 will be launching a similar grant competition before year-end for businesses in Homewood.
Urban Innovation21 ongoing support comes from the Alcoa Foundation, Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, Carlow University, Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, Hill House Economic Development Corporation, Idea Foundry, Innovation Works, PA Department of Community and economic Development, PNC Bank, Point Park University, UPMC Health Plan and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.
Complete information on the Hill District-based grant competition, including application instructions, can be found at www.urbaninnovation21.org/grants. Applications are due on October 10, 2012.
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