Burton D. Morgan Foundation Awards Grants to Support Entrepreneurship at June Meeting

At the June Board Meeting, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved nearly $1 million in grants to support entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in Northeast Ohio.  Several grants were made to support entrepreneurship for students at colleges and universities across the region including two for The University of Akron.

The University of Akron Foundation was awarded a two-year grant of up to $120,000 for the Creating Entrepreneurial Classrooms initiative, which will help embed entrepreneurship across campus.  The University was also awarded a two-year grant of up to $240,530 to expand the Small Entrepreneur and Economic Development (SEED) Legal Clinic, which provides legal counseling and education to student entrepreneurs and small businesses in Greater Akron.  The grant will enable the program to expand to serve student entrepreneurs at several other area universities.

Faculty across the campus expressed enthusiasm for the Creating Entrepreneurial Classrooms initiative.  “Creating an Entrepreneurial Classroom will increase awareness of the many ways an entrepreneurial mindset deepens learning within and across disciplines, advances problem solving, and builds opportunities and career options for students," stated Joe Fox, Director of the College of Business Administration’s Fitzgerald Center for Entrepreneurship.

Bill Lyons, Associate Dean of Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences commented, “What is most exciting about this project is that it is so deeply interdisciplinary and inter-generational. Our most innovative faculty are reaching across multiple disciplines with their students and then sharing their experiences with a next generation of faculty seeking to do the same.”

The Foundation also awarded a two-year grant of up to $102,178 to Ashland University to support Morgan Fellows and student programs, and a two-year grant of up to $77,600 to Hiram College to support Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship activities.  John Carroll University was awarded a grant of up to $140,000 for the NEOLaunchNET program, a regional entrepreneurship initiative currently serving a network of five Northeast Ohio colleges and universities.

Additional grants approved by Foundation Trustees at the meeting to benefit organizations supporting innovation and entrepreneurship include the following:

Economic and Community Development Institute – up to $146,200 to support operations of the Akron office
Economic Growth Foundation - $35,000 to support the Business Growth Collaborative ($25,000) and integration of Greater Akron into the Inclusion Marketplace ($10,000)
University School - $130,500 to support Young Entrepreneur Institute programming

Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover commented, “Grants awarded at the June Board meeting reflect our respect for the resilience and fortitude of our Northeast Ohio entrepreneurship ecosystem champions. As a funder and partner to these organizations, we applaud the creative adaptations and pivots that have allowed them to redesign programming and persevere in the face of extreme challenges. We are proud to work with these courageous ecosystem builders and to support the innovations that allow them to continue serving entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds across our region."

Other grants made by Morgan Foundation in the interim period between meetings to support entrepreneurship include:

Effective Leadership Academy - $3,000 for the 2020 Chamber Leadership Academy
Learning About Business - $10,000 for a week-long business summer camp for high school students
StartinCLE - $4,000 to sponsor four Founder Dinners in Greater Akron, with one dinner focused on the region's diversity and inclusion efforts
Summit Food Coalition - $20,000 to develop a local food action plan for Akron and Summit County, including analysis of how to improve resources and distribution networks available to food entrepreneurs
The Entrepreneurs EDGE - $20,000 to support four EDGE Fellows working with two Scalerator NEO alumni companies

The Foundation has also made the following recent grants to benefit the Hudson community:

Hudson Community First - $6,100 for the Career Panel/Intern for a Day program
Hudson Community Service Association - $8,000 for the Helping Hands Assistance Fund
Hudson Library and Historical Society - $250 for books for children and teens, particularly books focused on invention
Hudson Montessori School - $5,000 for operating support
Hudson Rotary Foundation - $1,000 for scholarship fund support in 2020

As previously announced, Morgan Foundation has provided emergency grants in recent months in response to the COVID-19 health emergency totaling $432,820 to Akron Community Foundation ($20,000), Akron MakerSpace ($10,000), Akron Regional Development Board Educational Fund ($200,000), ArtsNow ($10,000), Destination Hudson ($320), Hebrew Free Loan Association ($50,000), Hudson Community Foundation ($2,500), Kent State University Foundation ($10,000), United Way of Summit County ($120,000), and Wayne County Community Foundation ($10,000).