Press release from Mountain BizWorks:
We are thrilled to have been selected for the NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grant. Out of 65 applicants, Mountain BizWorks was selected as the only organization in Western North Carolina.
The NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grant is designed to identify and support partner organizations across the state doing inspired things to help entrepreneurs. Working in partnership with others provides the opportunity to foster relationships and create dialog between partners, while allowing a better understanding of how we may (collectively) support more people in their ambition to start and grow companies that will strengthen the economy of North Carolina.
Specifically, for this Fall 2020 NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grant, NC IDEA required that proposals focus on supporting “under-represented” entrepreneurs building scalable businesses; defined as: (1) entrepreneurs that identify as Female, and/or (2) entrepreneurs that identify as Minority (or Persons of Color), and/or (3) entrepreneurs that are located in counties designated as “Tier 1” or “Tier 2” by the N.C. Department of Commerce.
This grant is particularly meaningful to us because the funds will directly support ScaleUp, a cohort learning program that provides intensive growth strategy development and implementation assistance to cohorts of 15 small businesses, as well as the Invested Course, a cohort learning program that assists business owners who are currently experiencing growth opportunities in preparing for, designing, and launching seed round equity campaigns. 70% of these programs are comprised of either rural entrepreneurs, people of color, or women.