Urban Innovation21 announces the issuance of $150,000 for the 2014 winners of the Hill District and Homewood Small Business "Inclusive Innovation" Grant Competition in our region's communities - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Urban Innovation21 announces the issuance of $150,000 for the 2014 winners of the Hill District and Homewood Small Business "Inclusive Innovation" Grant Competition in our region's communities

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SOURCE Urban Innovation21

PITTSBURGH, May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Urban Innovation21 and its public-private partners announced the winners of the "Inclusive Innovation" Small Business Grant Competition.  The competition aims to assist a wide range of entrepreneurs who reside and/or operate a small for profit business in the Hill District and Homewood communities; two of Pittsburgh's historic African American communities that have not been fully incorporated in our region's recent economic resurgence. This competition was divided into two categories: startup and existing businesses.

Since 2013, Urban Innovation21 has hosted a Small Business Grant Competition for the Hill District and Homewood communities. This year, both competitions ran simultaneously with a series of workshops and entrepreneurial coaching consultations with participants of each neighborhood. The workshops were held for four weekends in both the Hill District and in Homewood leading up to the submission deadline.  Startup and existing businesses had separate workshops designed to help the businesses in developing the best possible business plan to submit.

Urban Innovaion21 aims to recognize the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and strong in the Hill District and Homewood communities with an emphasis on supporting entrepreneurs that reside in both communities. This spirit was evident by the nearly 100 individuals that showed interest in the competition and training. Ultimately, fifty companies submitted their plans and $50,000 and $100,000 in grants/microloan support were issued to the winning companies in the Hill District and in Homewood respectively.

But capital is only one dimension of the Urban Innovation21 experience for these companies. The competition is only the beginning for both the companies that were awarded grants as well as those that were not. Urban Innovation21 will continue to support these companies with the subject matter experts needed to make them a success.

"I am excited that we are able to continue our work to make sure that all communities are connected to our region's prosperity.  Our goal is to make sure that these entrepreneurs not only thrive in their communities, but also connect to our region's broader economic growth drivers", said Urban Innovation21 President and CEO William Generett Jr.

A celebratory event to recognize the dedication and effort of all participants in the Hill District and Homewood Small Business Grant Competition for 2014 is scheduled for Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at 5:30p.m. in the Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium at the Kaufmann Center (1825 Centre Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15219).

Urban Innovation21 Partners and Supporters: Alcoa Foundation, Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, Carlow University, Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, the Heinz Endowments, the Hill House Association, Hillman Foundation, Idea Foundry, Innovation Works, McCauley Ministries, PA Department of Community and Economic Development, PNC Bank, Point Park University, Richard King Mellon Foundation, Roy A. Hunt Foundation, Reed Smith, Surdna Foundation, UPMC Health Plan, The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and the Federal Government Economic Development Administration. www.urbaninnovation21.org

Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium at the Kaufmann Center
1825 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
15219

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