The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority announced Monday it is making three grants totaling $380,000 aimed at providing inner-city entrepreneurship training in Milwaukee.
[caption id="attachment_152106" align="alignright" width="378"] WHEDA chief operating officer Brian Schimming, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Operation Dream founder Rodney Bourrage tour an Operation WORK classroom on Saturday at Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education in Milwaukee.[/caption]
The awards were made through the Greater Wisconsin Opportunities Fund Inc., the community development entity within WHEDA.
The awards include $200,000 for Operation Dream to expand its Operation WORK training program. The program was started in 2010 and is designed to guide older boys into responsible adulthood and independence through employment and leadership.
Asset Builders, which provides personal finance, entrepreneurial and investment education to Milwaukee residents, will receive $100,000.
BizStarts will receive $80,000 for its BizForge program, which begins with an intake session to identify where an entrepreneur is in the process of developing a business and then offers mentorship in marketing, sales and business planning.
The 2016 grants were the result of a request for proposal seeking entities with experience and successful track records in providing entrepreneurship training. WHEDA also awarded $350,000 in 2015.
“I’m delighted on behalf of GWOF to award these grants to dedicated partners that will provide training to support entrepreneurship and job creation in the city of Milwaukee,” said WHEDA executive director Wyman Winston. “The response we received from business partners willing to step up and offer these critical services demonstrates the continued commitment to the Transform Milwaukee initiative.”
The Greater Wisconsin Opportunities Fund invests in new markets tax credits to help provide catalytic economic development opportunities in urban and rural low income areas of the state. It is made up of Cap Services of Stevens Point, Forward Community Investments, Impact Seven, Legacy Redevelopment Corporation, North Milwaukee State Bank, the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation.