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WEDC awards nearly $1 million to entrepreneurship groups

July 31, 2023
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Applications now open for next round of funding

MADISON, WI. JULY 31, 2023 – Twelve organizations working to support entrepreneurs have been awarded nearly $1 million in the latest rounds of Entrepreneurship Partner Grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

“Wisconsin stands behind its innovators and business owners,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development agency. “These grants help organizations across the state provide advice, funding, education and other support to entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.”

Created in 2021, Entrepreneurship Partner Grants are designed for organizations working to provide training, financing, mentorship, technical support and more to entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs – especially those who historically have not had equal access to capital and resources, such as women, people of color, the LGBTQ community and rural residents.

The grant recipients include:

Hmong American Center, Wausau $37,500

The Hmong American Center will provide free or low-cost rental for an initial office for about 75 businesses.

WiSys, Madison $106,000

The grant will allow WiSys to bring the VentureHome program to five locations to provide entrepreneurial support and to create a statewide mentor network for under-represented entrepreneurs.

Doyenne, Madison $90,000

The grant will allow 12 to 16 companies to participate in Doyenne’s Triple Threat Venture Training Program.

Couleecap, Sparta $72,300

Couleecap supports small businesses, low-income business owners, and those located in rural communities. The agency has provided assistance through pop-up shop programs, the CO.STARTERS entrepreneurial training program, business development technical assistance, microenterprise loans, COVID business recovery grants, start-up grants, and small business incubator services.

Develop America, Milwaukee $150,000

Develop America will use the grant to provide technical assistance and grants ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 to early-stage Black-owned businesses.

BizStarts, Milwaukee $150,000

BizStart offers a specialized entrepreneurial training curriculum for English- and Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs.

Milky Way Tech Hub, Milwaukee $85,000

The Milky Way Tech Hub provides training, mentorship and in some cases capital investment for underrepresented entrepreneurs working in tech.

Platteville Business Incubator, Platteville $37,000

The grant will allow the Platteville Business Incubator to create monthly business seminars and to pair businesses with mentors.

Oconto County Economic Development Corporation, Oconto $100,000

Oconto County Economic Development Corporation will use the grant to create an entrepreneurship training program aimed at youth and young adults. In addition, the group will also be providing support to new and existing Main Street businesses.

SCORE, Milwaukee $75,100

The funding will allow SCORE to increase its mentoring capacity in rural communities.

Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council, Independence $82,500

The group will use the funding to help launch 12 new businesses with education, training and a $2,000 grant toward startup costs.

Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay $6,200

The college plans to have its Center for Entrepreneurship assist at least 20 individuals from rural counties with current business needs or planning. The goal is to have at least 10 of these businesses then move forward into their next stage within six months.

Applications for a new round of Entrepreneurship Partner Grants are now open and are due Aug. 31.

Grants, which will likely range from $10,000 to $200,000, will be awarded to programs based on factors such as number of entrepreneurs served, cost effectiveness and innovation.

For more information, visit our Entrepreneurship Partner Grants page.

To begin the application process, please contact Addison Murtha, entrepreneurship investment coordinator at:

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