Burton D. Morgan Foundation Awards Nearly $2.5 Million in Grants for Entrepreneurship Support

At the January Board Meeting, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved close to $2.5 million dollars in grants to enhance entrepreneurship programming and opportunities for youth, college students, and adults in Northeast Ohio.

JumpStart will receive $1,000,000 to support the Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program over three years.  Morgan Foundation partnered with JumpStart in 2013 to launch the mentorship program to support the region’s entrepreneurs.  Trustees also approved a grant of $245,000 for Bounce Innovation Hub which will support entrepreneurs in Greater Akron with its technology incubator and software accelerator; the GROW program, which is aimed at business owners of color; and the Northeast Student Venture Program, which teaches college students how to evaluate and invest in startup companies.

Young Entrepreneur Institute serves as the anchor organization for youth entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio.  The organization was awarded two grants this cycle including $215,225 for the 2022 Enspire Conference for youth educators and additional funding to support YIPPEE, the newly launched digital marketplace for entrepreneurship education resources.

Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC) will receive up to $213,450 to enhance its capacity to become the hub for collegiate entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio.  Included in this grant is a challenge component, meaning that EEC will need to raise additional matching funds in order to receive the entire grant amount. Through an exhaustive two- year assessment process initiated by Morgan Foundation, it was determined that EEC is best positioned to support the region’s collegiate entrepreneurship efforts.  This grant will help EEC improve strategy around collegiate entrepreneurship, promote expanded collaboration within the youth, collegiate, and adult ecosystems; and coordinate programs among Northeast Ohio colleges and universities. 

“Given the renaissance of entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio over the last two decades, it makes sense for our region to focus considerable resources on ensuring as many students and entrepreneurs as possible at all levels are steeped in the elements of the entrepreneurial mindset,” commented Morgan Foundation President and CEO, Deborah Hoover.  “Our region has developed active networks of programs on campuses, among campuses, and through ecosystem hubs to ensure access to high quality entrepreneurship and innovation education.  As the Midwest is increasingly viewed as an optimal location for fast-growing businesses (consider Intel), there is no better time to elevate our efforts to attain world-class, second-to-none status for our entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems that will benefit students, institutions, businesses, communities, and the regional economy.  Young Entrepreneur Institute, Entrepreneurship Education Consortium, Bounce, and JumpStart all play important roles as hubs providing information, funding, education, opportunity, and connectivity, simultaneously aligning goals for the ecosystem and illuminating pathways for our region’s indefatigable entrepreneurs.” 

Additional grants for entrepreneurship support were made to the following organizations:

Fund for Our Economic Future - $500,000 for operating support and job creation and/or entrepreneurial support activities
Hudson Library and Historical Society - $120,000 to support programming over two years for the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurship Center including Global Entrepreneurship Week programming in Hudson
MORTAR - $40,000 for Akron’s MORTAR program, which aims to equip historically underserved entrepreneurs with the resources necessary to develop ventures that transform communities
The Entrepreneurs EDGE – up to $56,000 to support the EDGE Fellows program
Western Reserve Historical Society – up to $53,536 for the Youth Entrepreneurship Education for Cleveland program

Grants to Bounce Innovation Hub and The Entrepreneurs EDGE were partially funded by grant dollars the Foundation received from the Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation.

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

Cleveland Institute of Music - $20,000 to support continued development of entrepreneurship programming
Hudson Library and Historical Society - $14,150 to support local Global Entrepreneurship Week activities
Prepared 4 Life - $5,000 for the licensing fee for Lemonade Day

To address community needs that fall outside the Foundation’s primary mission, the Trustees periodically make one-time community grants on a proactive basis to deserving charitable organizations that serve the local area.  Recent grants awarded to community agencies for operating support include the following:

Akron Community Development Association - $20,000 for operating support
Akron Community Foundation - $20,000 for the Sojourner Truth Statue Fund
Akron Public Schools - $20,000 for the Akron After School program
Building for Tomorrow - $20,000 for the ConnectHome Akron program
Center for Applied Drama and Autism - $20,000 for operating support
International Institute of Akron - $30,000 for operating support
NAMI Summit County - $10,000 for operating support
Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard - $10,000 for operating support
Renaissance Family Center of Windham Ohio - $10,000 for the AMETEK Food Forest
ShelterCare, Inc - $20,000 for operating support
Victim Assistance Program - $20,000 to support CONNECT training and operating support