WEDC awards $249,000 in grants to Milwaukee entrepreneurship programs

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The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will disburse $249,000 in grants to six Milwaukee-based organizations supporting entrepreneurship. 

The grants are a part of a WEDC initiative to provide $500,000 in economic support to 13 organizations that offer resources to entrepreneurs throughout Wisconsin.

Northwest Side Community Development Corp. will receive $60,000 to expand professional accounting, marketing and legal support services for women and minority-owned businesses on Milwaukee’s northwest side. The group specifically targets child care businesses for assistance. 

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BizStarts, known for its institute that works with entrepreneurs to build wealth in low to moderate-income Milwaukee neighborhoods, will receive $60,000 to build its education and long-term business coaching programming. 

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Wisconsin will receive $50,500 to expand its services to all Wisconsin counties. The organization offers free business mentoring, education and farm planning resources. 

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation will receive $40,000 for its HATCH social networking pitch contest. HATCH is typically held outside of Wisconsin’s major metro areas. The winners of preliminary events get a chance to compete at a regional final for a grand prize. 

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Marquette University Law School’s Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic will receive $35,000 to provide free legal advice to micro entrepreneurs, build an online platform with information and basic legal forms, and develop a referral service to connect low and moderate income microentrepreneurs with volunteer business attorneys. 

Financial Promise Foundation will receive $3,500 for its financial and business education programs targeted to low-income, minority individuals and veterans in Milwaukee County. 

Since 2016, WEDC’s entrepreneurship support grants have provided $2.4 million in economic support for groups around the state working to improve and increase access to entrepreneurship resources. 

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This year’s round of grants bring entrepreneurship resources into rural areas and communities of color where some services are harder to access, WEDC secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said in a statement. 

“These grants are really about creating an environment across Wisconsin that allows entrepreneurs to take their best ideas and turn them into successful businesses,” Hughes said in a statement. 

Other grant recipients include the following:

  • Nicolet Area Technical College, $50,000 (Rhinelander)
  • Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County, $45,000 (Fitchburg)
  • Western Dairyland Business Center, $40,000 (Independence) 
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville, $40,000 (Platteville)
  • Couleecap Inc., $40,000 (Westby)
  • CAP Services, $30,000 (Stevens Point)
  • MCDEVCO, $30,000 (Wausau)

Read the March 8 issue of BizTimes Milwaukee here:

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