Highlights of our grant focus on entrepreneurs and small business are included below:
The Deluxe Foundation provided start up funds to form a national association of minority business development nonprofits. The BizGrow Network, still in its early stages of development, will enable member nonprofits to share information, best practices and resources.
In January 2012, we announced a $170,000 award to Chicago-based Women's Business Development Center (WBDC), the nation's oldest, largest and most successful small business assistance center for women. WBDC will use the grant to convert its business education courses - currently only offered in-person - into online, on-demand, interactive learning opportunities. This will enable the WBDC to better serve its clients through expanded reach and capacity. In December, the Foundation awarded an additional $135,000 to help the WBDC create bilingual online courses and hold six regional development workshops.
SCORE Volunteer mentors have helped more than nine million aspiring entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. The Deluxe Foundation awarded nearly $500,000 to sponsor the creation and implementation of the Deluxe/SCORE Success Advantage business mentoring methodology which will provide training and tools for SCORE mentors and client. In addition, the Foundation sponsored the organization's new recruiting initiative that will help SCORE grow its trained volunteer base by 11,000 in the next three years.
MEDA helps entrepreneurs of color succeed by providing many services including 1:1 business consulting, training and leadership development. The Foundation has supported MEDA on an annual basis for 25 years. In August 2011, we announced a $70,000 award to nonprofit Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) to help launch the BizGrow Network, the first national network of nonprofits that serves minority businesses. In 2012 Deluxe was honored by MEDA to receive Corporation of the Year.
Each spring, the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management matches 30 undergraduate students with paid internships at Minnesota entrepreneurial companies. The Deluxe Corporation Foundation helped fund The Deluxe Entrepreneur Intern Program, an endowed fund that will sponsor students to work with early-stage companies for years to come.