Former American Entrepreneurship Award expands its business plan competition with interest-free funding opportunities for diverse early-stage entrepreneurs in Detroit and Flint, Michigan

Washington, D.C. – September 18, 2018: Envolve Entrepreneurship, a 501(c)(3) entrepreneurship organization, is excited to formally announce Detroit and Flint, Michigan as two of eight locations the Envolve Award USA (formerly the American Entrepreneurship Award) application is open to. The Envolve Award is a regionally-focused business plan competition that recognizes the best examples of entrepreneurship among diverse and underserved entrepreneurs. The organization aims to embolden early-stage businesses by providing diverse entrepreneurs with easy access to capital, knowledge, and resources via its secure website – www.EnvolveGlobal.org.

The Envolve Award USA is open to experienced and budding entrepreneurs in demonstrably underserved communities across the nation. According to the Kresge Foundation’s 2017 Detroit Reinvestment Index, 83% of participants rated Detroit as an excellent or good choice for their business; along with 88% likely to recommend opening and operating a small business in the city.

In addition to Detroit and Flint, the overall competition is open to entrants from previous American Entrepreneurship Award legacy locations Miami-Dade County, Florida and the Bronx in New York City. The 2018 competition expands to applicants from Atlanta, Charleston, Baltimore, Washington DC, and the Greater New York City area. Registration commenced on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, and winners will be declared in late fall of 2018.

The launch marks the third annual cycle of entrepreneurship award programming for the newly rebranded organization. Envolve hopes that its expansion to new cities will increase awareness around the importance of supporting underserved entrepreneurs and how the provision of education and resources can serve as an impetus for success.

To leverage its award programming and connect with underserved entrepreneurs in a meaningful way, Envolve partners with like-minded support organizations and city officials in each award location in order to contribute to the support of applicants and winners throughout targeted underserved communities.

Commenting on the 2018 USA award application being offered Detroit and Flint, Christopher Upperman, CEO of Envolve stated: “Detroit and Flint are two of America’s most resilient cities. Having gone through tremendous downturns in the past decade and a half but in the midst of that picking themselves back up it only seems right to offer our award to residents. There’s tremendous entrepreneurial activity and if the recent influx of venture capital flowing into Michigan startups within the last few years is any indication we want to do our part to support diverse entrepreneurs in the process. We’re proud to work closely with Tech Town Detroit and other local partners to meet entrepreneurs at their level.”

Commenting on Envolve’s collaboration with Tech Town and their application being opened to residents of Detroit and Flint, Managing Director for Tech-based Entrepreneurship Paul Riser said, “TechTown Detroit is truly excited about the opportunity to partner with Envolve Entrepreneurship here in Detroit, a market that reflects a diverse entrepreneurial community that is experiencing a truly epic period of growth and energy. As we work tirelessly to address a variety of gaps across our ecosystem, it’s by way of grass-roots collaboration with organizations like Envolve that we will drive long-term, equitable results. This a unique educational, funding and business support opportunity that we want to ensure our entrepreneurs maximize.”

Envolve has pledged financial support of up to $250,000 in interest-free and no-equity business start-up and scale-up funding to be disbursed among multiple award winners throughout each region and location.

In 2018, the social responsibility division of global conglomerate, the Libra Group created Envolve. Envolve leverages the success of two entrepreneurship award programs: The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award (HEA) and the American Entrepreneurship Award (AEA), founded by the Libra Group to stimulate economic growth, innovation, and social change. The awards have declared 35 winners across Greece and the USA since 2012, supporting job creation and economic growth. Envolve will continue this commitment to serve and develop individual entrepreneurs, along with cultivating ecosystems domestically and abroad.

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Envolve is a 501(c)(3) organization that strives for a global society where all business owners can prosper and grow. The organization is committed to developing and cultivating entrepreneurial ecosystems, by ensuring business support services are more readily available to diverse entrepreneurs. To learn more about the Libra Group, please visit www.libra.com.

To learn more about Tech Town Detroit, please visit https://techtowndetroit.org/. We help tech startups and local businesses launch and grow. We are an incubator and accelerator. We support businesses with coworking and office space , meeting space and event space . We also connect entrepreneurs to resources, and learning and networking events in Detroit.

To learn more about Envolve Entrepreneurship, please visit www.envolveglobal.org.

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