December 1, 2016
Minneapolis, Minn. – The Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) has been awarded a $400,000 Inclusion Challenge Grant by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation during the Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship today in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Kauffman Foundation’s Inclusion Challenge Grant program awards funds to grantees to help female entrepreneurs and minority entrepreneurs achieve higher rates of success. The Mayors Conference theme is “Diversifying Entrepreneurial Opportunity” and Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, of the Small Business Administration will be honoring Meda and the other grantees for their commitment to leveling the playing field for women and minority entrepreneurs.
Meda will be using the grant to support development of a coordinated resource system for minority entrepreneurs in Minnesota. Upon receiving the award, Meda President and CEO, Gary L. Cunningham, remarked, “These funds will allow Meda to work with our ecosystem partners to invest in minority entrepreneurs so that their businesses can reach their full potential and positively impact communities throughout Minnesota. Meda is excited about this grant, and we look forward to providing Meda’s award-winning technical services to more minority businesses in the coming year.”
Meda was one of 12 grantees selected among 376 applicants from across the nation. The Inclusion Challenge grantees serve a range of sectors in 13 states from coast to coast. The grantees were awarded a total of $4.3 million over the next two years.
“Entrepreneurship in America should be available to everyone, yet women and minorities continue to face more obstacles to starting businesses when it comes to accessing funding, education, mentors and markets,” said Victor Hwang, vice president of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “The Inclusion Challenge grants will enable these outstanding support organizations to expand their services to empower more entrepreneurs and help them succeed. The nation and our economy as a whole will benefit from more entrepreneurs generating income and wealth in traditionally underserved markets.”
To learn more about Meda, please visit www.Meda.net or contact Michelle Tran Maryns at 612.259.6570.
About the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda)
Meda is a nonprofit organization that aims to help minority entrepreneurs succeed by providing one-on-one business consulting, access to capital, and procurement opportunities. Since 1971, Meda has empowered more than 20,000 minority entrepreneurs and helped launch over 500 minority businesses. For more information, visit www.meda.net, and follow Meda on www.twitter.com/Meda_MN and www.facebook.com/MedaMinnesota.
About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.