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EEVF Phase I: Proof of Concept

Beginning in 2017, EEVF Phase I selected four community colleges to engage in its pilot program:

  • Hillsborough Community College (Tampa, FL)
  • Middlesex Community College (Bedford/Lowell, MA)
  • Monroe Community College (Rochester, NY)
  • Wayne County Community College (Detroit, MI).

Each community college received grant funds to provide seed funding for community-based business start-ups which were administered by the college’s foundation, who was encouraged to solicit additional funds from local corporations and individual donors to create a sustainable grant pool. Phase I used the following selection criteria:

  • Committed faculty working alongside College Presidents and Deans;
  • College Foundation willing to leverage community resources and secure additional funds;
  • Existing entrepreneurship curriculum; and
  • Commitment to facilitating one year of mentorship for new businesses post-launch.

To date, EEVF Phase I has launched upwards of 50 businesses through student grants or loans at the discretion of Phase I pilot college funding committees.