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.