CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 8, 2010 – The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University has received two U.S. Small Business Administration grants totaling $246,476 to help low-income and very low-income entrepreneurs with training and technical assistance to start, operate and grow their own businesses.
The Center received a $97,564 for its Operation Growth Start program and $148,912 grant for its Delta Region Microenterprise Development Alliance program for a total of $246,476. The Center was the only organization in Missouri to receive an award, and the only organization in the U.S. to receive two awards in the highly competitive program.
“These awards recognize the quality of our entrepreneurship training and development programs”, said Dr. James L. Stapleton, executive director. “We are pleased to continue to receive national recognition and support for our ability to assist individuals in the process of starting successful new businesses. The entrepreneurs we support start businesses that improve the quality of their lives, businesses, and communities”, he added.
The economic impact of these grant-funded programs will be realized in eight states that make up the Mississippi Delta region. The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will assist economic and community development organizations in the Delta to replicate the success of its Operation Jump-Start entrepreneurship training program. The funds will also allow the Center to provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs in southeast Missouri to accelerate growth of their businesses that were recently started after participating in the Jump-Start program.
These funds are among $8 million in grants the U.S. Small Business Administration is awarding to 92 nonprofit organizations around the country. The grants, delivered under the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME), also will provide capacity-building services to microenterprise development entities to strengthen the quality of their programs.
Competition for PRIME grants was open to applicants in all 50 states and the U.S. territories. Last year, SBA funded 58 grants in 32 states on a highly competitive basis. This year, SBA received 215 applications. A total of 92 grants were awarded this year to 57 second-year recipients and 35 new participants from 43 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
“PRIME grants remain a major source of funding for providing small businesses with essential training and technical assistance,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “We are very pleased that this year we have been able to provide this funding, which will translate into new jobs and stronger local economies.”
PRIME grants are intended to help small businesses with five or fewer employees that are economically disadvantaged, and to businesses owned by low-income individuals, including those residing on Indian reservations and tribal lands. Such help is offered through a network of qualified nonprofit organizations that provide business training and technical assistance.
Grants ranged up to $250,000 this year, with a 50 percent match required of each recipient organization. The PRIME grant is open to microentrepreneur training and technical assistance providers in all 50 states and the territories, and has a one-year performance period, with four 12-month options.
For a complete list of recipients, Click on “SBA PRIME Grantees (by State), Fiscal
Year 2010” at: http://www.sba.gov/financialassistance/prospectivelenders/prime/index.html.