CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 3, 2010 – The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University is planning to implement a one-year $45,400 grant from USDA Rural Development titled "Facilitating Rural Community Projects" that will launch in 2011.
The grant was awarded under the USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grants program and consists of two main objectives. It will allow the CIE to continue offering its highly successful Operation Jump-Start entrepreneurial training program and it will allow the organization to work with rural Bootheel communities to facilitate community development projects.
Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of the CIE says, “Our Center is excited to receive this funding from USDA because it will work well to enhance both our Renewing Rural Communities through Innovation (RRCI) program and our Operation Jump-Start initiative. Whenever we can leverage existing programs to find new funding to help rural communities, we believe we are maximizing our ability to make an impact.”
The RRCI program is an initiative to bring together high school students, community leaders, and local entrepreneurs to focus on ways to improve their communities and develop entrepreneurial awareness and skills. Through the RRCI program, the CIE has worked with several communities in the northern portion of Southeast Missouri State University’s 24-county service region. The new grant will assist the CIE in conducting RRCI activities in the Missouri Bootheel region.
In addition, Operation Jump-Start classes will be offered in the Bootheel as part of “Facilitating Rural Community Projects.” Since Operation Jump-Start was started by the CIE in 2006, the program has educated approximately 550 individuals who have created more than 200 small businesses and about 350 jobs. The training program has received regional and national recognition for its effectiveness in assisting business start-ups.
For more information about the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the
community development and entrepreneurial support services it offers, visit www.semo.edu/cie.