The leaders of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and microlender Justine PETERSEN announced the formation of the Aspire Entrepreneurship Initiative at the WKKF Detroit office on Aug. 22. The initiative is a groundbreaking new $2.1 million partnership to expand access to entrepreneurial education and microloans for formerly incarcerated individuals, with a specific focus on those who are parents. Initial rollout for the initiative is planned for Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL, Louisville, KY and St. Louis, MO.
The Kellogg Foundation is supporting the pilot initiative and providing matching revolving loan funds and evaluation support. SBA will oversee strategic planning for the pilot initiative, work with its microlending partners to make capital available for program participants, and leverage its policy research expertise to craft a comprehensive evaluation design for assessing the pilot’s effectiveness. Justine PETERSEN will deliver the intensive, cohort-based entrepreneurial education program. The Kellogg Foundation will also partner with the SBA to produce a white paper summarizing the insights produced by the pilot initiative.