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NC IDEA and the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council Announce ECOSYSTEM Grant

Seeking Partners Elevating Black Entrepreneurship in North Carolina for $50K Grants Starting October 5th

 DURHAM, NC – October 1, 2020 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, with their newly formed North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council (NC BEC), announced today that applications will be accepted beginning October 5th from organizations throughout the state executing on innovative and transformational ideas that will elevate Black Entrepreneurship.

In August 2020, the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council (NC BEC) was formed to lead NC IDEA in its programmatic and grant making ambitions to address the challenges of Black entrepreneurship in North Carolina. Today, the NC BEC is launching its inaugural grant program, NC BEC ECOSYSTEM, with $500,000 in total funding to support and partner with organizations throughout the state doing inspired things to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations and economic potential of North Carolina’s Black community. NC BEC ECOSYSTEM is also designed to better understand how we may (collectively) support more Black people in their ambition to start and build growth-oriented companies that will strengthen the economy of North Carolina.

“Within weeks of its establishment, the NC Black Entrepreneurship Council announced this ECOSYSTEM grant, expressing urgency to deploy capital to organizations helping Black founders,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “By partnering with organizations focused on economically empowering Black people with entrepreneurship, we will collectively work to combat racial disparities and ensure more individuals are given the opportunity to reach their full entrepreneurial potential, which is better for the overall health of the economy,” Ruhe concluded.

NC IDEA is accepting applications from 501(c)(3) and for profit organizations within North Carolina that are in service to, or have programs specifically focused on, helping Black entrepreneurs and growth-oriented Black-owned firms start and grow scalable businesses. The application is open to new programs and ideas that are being disruptive and driving change, as well as existing programs and initiatives. NC IDEA is requiring that ALL grant dollars must be allocated toward specific programs and activities serving the Black entrepreneurial community of North Carolina.

Applicants may request any amount of funding up to but not exceeding $50,000. Scheduled grant payments should align with specific activities, and funding may be allocated according to milestones and scheduled payments over the course of one year. For detailed criteria and to apply, learn more here. Final submissions are due November 2nd no later than 5:00pm EST. Grant award notifications will be sent on December 11th.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs, and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. Learn more at