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NC IDEA and the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council Award $140,000 in ENGAGE Grants

Fourteen Organizations Receive $10,000 Grants to Elevate Black Entrepreneurship in North Carolina

 DURHAM, NC – May 4, 2021 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, alongside the leadership of the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council (NC BEC), announced today that the organization has awarded $140,000 in ENGAGE grants to fourteen partners throughout the state executing on innovative and transformational ideas that will elevate Black Entrepreneurship.

“Under the leadership of the NC Black Entrepreneurship Council and with this newest cohort of partners, we have now deployed over half a million dollars into the ecosystem to help address the challenges of Black entrepreneurship in North Carolina,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “By partnering with these organizations, we aim to close the Black entrepreneurship gap due to systems that result in a lack of access, exposure, networks, funding and resources,” Ruhe added.

The fourteen new ENGAGE grant recipients are:

  • Bridge of Hope Life Transformational Services, LLC – Ahoskie, NC
  • Brunswick Community College Small Business Center – Leland, NC
  • Communities in Partnership – Durham, NC
  • Creative Allies – Morrisville, NC
  • HUSTLE Winston-Salem – Winston-Salem, NC
  • Illumined Leadership Solutions, LLC – Durham, NC
  • Jecha Networks, Inc. – Charlotte, NC
  • Loyd Visuals – Charlotte, NC
  • Sankofa Farms LLC – Durham, NC
  • The Boost Pad – Charlotte, NC
  • Urban League of Central Carolinas – Charlotte, NC
  • Vision Church – The Way of Business – Raleigh, NC
  • Wake County Social and Economic Vitality Program – Raleigh, NC
  • Young Urban Professionals – New Bern, NC

The Foundation’s NC IDEA ENGAGE grants help entrepreneurship advocates offer programs, pilot new initiatives and organize virtual and in-person events that bring people together to support entrepreneurial activity. Specifically, these newest partners are working across the state to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations and economic potential of North Carolina’s Black community.

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