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

Missy Hughes, chief executive officer and secretary of WEDC.
Missy Hughes, chief executive officer and secretary of WEDC.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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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