BATTLE CREEK, Michigan, February 8, 2005 – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation today announced the six finalists to receive a visit from the Foundation to discuss their ideas regarding the establishment of Rural Entrepreneurship Partnerships to catalyze economic development. They are in the final round of a process, which started with a Request for Proposals from the Corporation for Enterprise Development and will conclude when final grant decisions are made in a few months. This $8 million grant program is designed to encourage the advancement of rural regional entrepreneurship development systems, as part of a special initiative to commemorate the Kellogg Foundation’s 75th Anniversary (1930-2005).
The six finalists are:
- Northern New Mexico Entrepreneurship Development System, serving Northern New Mexico counties, pueblos, and tribes.
- Connecting Oregon for Rural Entrepreneurship Collaborative, serving Lake County, Lincoln County, Northeast, Southwest, and North Central Oregon.
- Oweesta Collaborative, serving Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River reservations of South Dakota (Lakota Sioux), and the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming (Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe).
- Home Town Competitiveness Collaborative, serving 15 counties in Nebraska and the Winnebago, Omaha, and Santee Sioux Indian reservations.
- Advantage Valley Entrepreneurship Development System Collaborative, serving eight counties in West Virginia, Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky, and Lawrence county in Ohio.
- North Carolina’s Rural Outreach Collaborative, serving 85 rural counties of North Carolina, including seven rural Indian Tribes.
The collaboratives selected will receive grants of up to $2 million each to promote entrepreneurial activity in their region, produce entrepreneurial models for other communities, leverage significant investment, and stimulate national and state interest in rural entrepreneurship policies and strategies. More than 180 groups responded to a Request for Proposals issued by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a Washington, DC-based organization.
The Request for Proposals required that applicants be collaborations of groups and entities capable of integrating policy, education, training, technical assistance, financing, networks, culture, and social entrepreneurship strategies – all necessary to successfully organize and lead a rural entrepreneurship development system for their region.
“The Foundation’s Food Systems and Rural Development programming area helps local people capitalize on their strengths and develop new networks and partnerships to restore the vision and economic vigor of rural communities. By requiring collaboration, we hope the process and the final awards will produce models that will show how a region’s often-limited resources can be brought together, through collaboration, to stimulate and encourage entrepreneurship,” says Caroline Carpenter, Kellogg Foundation Program Director for Rural Development.
More detailed information about rural regional entrepreneurship development systems and the process used to select grantees can be found at www.wkkf.org/ruralentrepreneurs.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is funding this project as part of a special initiative to commemorate its 75th Anniversary (1930-2005). Grants made during the 75th celebration will support traditional areas of emphasis – health, food systems and rural development, youth and education, philanthropy and volunteerism – as well as new opportunities that build on the Foundation’s current programming. Each of these efforts will broadly reflect the Foundation’s historical commitment to “help people help themselves.” Through their innovation and potential impact on society, they show special promise for continuing the Foundation’s legacy. For more information about the Foundation and its programs visit its Web site at www.wkkf.org.