Foundation Awards Grants to Impact the Entrepreneurial Mindset in Northeast Ohio Youth

At their September meeting, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved nearly $900,000 in grants to organizations that support entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio, including several programs that promote the entrepreneurial mindset for youth in grades K-12. 

The National Inventors Hall of Fame was awarded a grant of $172,000 to operate Camp Invention programs during the summer months in Northeast Ohio and to disseminate a pivotal study on problem-solving skills bolstered through STEM education in co-curricular settings.  Morgan Foundation supported the latter project through its research arm, Entrepreneurship Education Experiment.  

"For over a decade, the Morgan Foundation's collaborative partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame has challenged our thinking and fueled our passion to inspire future innovators,” said National Inventors Hall of Fame CEO Mike Oister. "The children and teachers we impact see themselves as entrepreneurs, excited to imagine, design, build, protect, and market new products."

In addition, Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio was awarded $45,000 to provide eight STEM commercialization and entrepreneurship forums for middle and high school students.  The program encourages students to become the innovators and entrepreneurs who will create new products, services, jobs, and prosperity of the future.

The Foundation also continues its longstanding support of entrepreneurship programming through the four Junior Achievement affiliates across the region, providing opportunities for children and teens to explore what it means to become an entrepreneur.  Junior Achievement programs were awarded a total of $220,000 in support.

Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover commented, “Burton D. Morgan Foundation has long been a proponent of our region's ecosystem aimed at fostering the entrepreneurial mindset in youngsters. Through these grants and other initiatives, our region boasts a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem for youth that provides many outlets for budding entrepreneurs to gain skills and confidence through entrepreneurship education.” 

Additional grants to benefit organizations supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at the collegiate and adult levels include the following:

Ideastream - $40,000 for sponsorship of Nightly Business Report

Kenan-Flagler Business School Foundation - $25,000 for the Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Conference

Purdue University - $100,000 for the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Opportunities Program (two years)

Team NEO Foundation - $150,000 for the creation of two innovation cluster roadmaps and strategic outreach efforts related to the roadmaps

Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation - $30,000 to support microenterprise programming and the Mahoning Valley is for Entrepreneurs initiative

Trustees also approved the following grants to benefit the Hudson community:

The Hudson Players Guild Inc. - $28,000 to replace the lighting board and update stage light fixtures

Western Reserve Academy - $20,000 for the Morgan Leadership program

Two disaster relief grants were approved in response to the recent devastating storms:

Houston Food Bank - $10,000 for hurricane disaster relief in Houston

Feeding Florida - $10,000 for disaster relief in response to Hurricane Irma

Since June, the Foundation also approved several smaller grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs, and philanthropy organizations.  Among the recipients were:  Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron for the BioInnovation Academy ($20,000);  Cuyahoga County Public Library for summer youth entrepreneurship camps ($6,000); Emmanuel Christian Academy  for an entrepreneurship and financial literacy program ($15,000); Entrepreneurship Education Consortium  for prize money at immersion week ($5,500); Global Cleveland for an international student pitch competition ($5,000); Lawrence School for a middle school entrepreneurship program ($7,500); Philanthropy Ohio for operating, membership and conference support ($19,986); Summit Artspace for the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute ($7,000); The Business of Good Foundation for prize money for the SEA Change program ($20,000); The Foundation Center for 40th anniversary programming ($3,500); The Philanthropy Roundtable for operating and membership support ($500); and University of Akron Research Foundation for StartupBus ($15,000).

Additionally, several smaller grants to benefit the Hudson community were approved:  Hudson Community Service Association for new wreaths for the clock tower ($600); Hudson Farmers Market for marketing expenses ($5,000); Music from the Western Reserve for operating support ($5,000); and Taste of Hudson for marketing expenses ($9,500).