Former American Entrepreneurship Award expands its business plan competition with interest-free funding opportunities for diverse early-stage entrepreneurs in Miami-Dade County for the third year, with new cities, Washington DC, Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Detroit, Flint, and New York City
Washington, D.C. – July 5, 2018: Today, Envolve Entrepreneurship, a 501(c)(3) entrepreneurship organization, launches the Envolve Award USA (formerly the American Entrepreneurship Award-AEA), 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. This year Envolve is delighted to announce the application is once again open to the entire Miami-Dade County area, with special consideration for students of Miami Dade College (MDC).
South Florida is a growing entrepreneurship ecosystem with one in eight South Floridians is involved in small business activity. The buzz of startup activity has gotten national attention and landed the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area with a No. 1 ranking among the 40 largest metro areas in the U.S. on Kauffman Foundation’s 2017 Index of Startup Activity, which measures business creation.
The application is very straightforward via Envolve’s website, and winners will receive funding, mentorship, and a range of business support. Interested parties are encouraged to complete a simple online registration form to generate a user profile and submit their application. 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. Additionally, the 2018 competition expands to applicants from Washington DC, Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Detroit, Flint, 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.
2016 award winners are enjoying great commercial success. In particular, Court Buddy of Miami, an online legal services access company, has raised more than $1 million in capital following its award triumph. Meanwhile, winners from 2017 are gaining traction in numerous markets and making waves in the local ecosystem, such as environmental solutions (SOP Technologies), and online minority business marketplace (Major Marketplace).
To leverage its award programming and connect with underserved entrepreneurs in a meaningful way, Envolve partners with like-minded support organizations in each award location in order to contribute to the support of applicants and winners. In its first two years under the previous AEA, MDC worked collaboratively to host workshops and experiential trainings for the community. This year both organizations look to grow the number of applicants and engage more budding or experienced entrepreneurs.
Commenting on the 2018 USA award launch in Miami Dade County, Christopher Upperman, CEO of Envolve stated: “In year three of our collaborative effort we hope to reach more diverse and multicultural entrepreneurs throughout Miami-Dade County via our competition. There is a burgeoning entrepreneurship ecosystem in south Florida and we want to ensure those left out have an opportunity to start, grow, and scale their businesses or ideas. MDCIC is an anchor in the community and we are thrilled to work alongside them to get the word out to as many prospective applicants as possible. It’s our hope that we can encourage others to support worthy entrepreneurs through financial assistance, workshops, and other provisions. We are proud of our partners those who are as committed to inclusive entrepreneurship as we are, and look forward to working together to make dreams become a reality.”
“We are thrilled to partner up again with Envolve USA for this third edition of the award. We expect there to be some great entrepreneurial ideas from our MDC students and community and are ready to support them on their entrepreneurial journey,” said Romi Bhatia, Executive Director of The Idea Center at MDC. The Center is the entrepreneurial engine of MDC supporting entrepreneurs, innovators, changemakers and alike, to help bring their entrepreneurial ideas to life.
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.
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.
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.
The Idea Center @MDC
The Idea Center @MDC is the college’s hub of innovation, the place where students from all disciplines can gather, collaborate and take advantage of resources and training to develop their entrepreneurial ideas. Through cutting-edge entrepreneurship education, professional development and experiential learning, students and community members can acquire the tools needed to identify challenges and develop solutions. The Idea Center has several components including MarketHack, CREATE accelerator, CodePro, The Startup Challenge, and the Innovation Lab, to name a few. It is made possible through the support of Knight Foundation. For more information, visit www.theideacenter.co