Southeast Lands Federal Awards to Boost Entrepreneurial Development


by News Bureau on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 14, 2013 – Southeast Missouri State University has received two federal awards focused on continued entrepreneurial development, including, through the Missouri Research Corporation, a $1 million loan to establish a revolving, low-interest fund for new and emerging businesses in southeast Missouri.

This fund will be directed toward gap financing in collaboration with a primary lender throughout southeast Missouri.

“These awards provide quality resources to continue our entrepreneurial mission at Southeast Missouri State University and enhance entrepreneurship research, planning and implementation strategies for the Missouri economy,” said Dr. James Stapleton, assistant to the president for Strategic and Entrepreneurial Initiatives and executive director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Southeast will receive the loan and grant assistance to create jobs and boost economic development in rural areas. The awards involve funding provided through three U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) economic development programs: the Intermediary Relending Program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, and the Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program.

“This award from USDA provides another tool to advance the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem and policy framework developed at Southeast and complements the training and education programs of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” Stapleton said.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that projects in 17 states will receive loan and grant assistance.

In addition, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced that Southeast is among the winners of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2013 University Center Economic Development Program Competition. Southeast has been awarded $198,987 and is one of eight recipients in the Denver region. Overall, EDA is providing $2.5 million in grants to 19 colleges and universities in 10 states to run five-year programs that will leverage university assets to promote American innovation and strengthen regional economies. The overall five-year award for Southeast is projected at $994,935 with funds being awarded annually.

EDA funded University Centers provide business solutions and technical assistance to public and private sector organizations, and conduct other activities with the goal of enhancing regional economic development. Southeast’s scope of work will include developing a pipeline of entrepreneurs by improving the access to capital, creating an exchange of ideas and innovation, and promoting opportunities within the region and in Missouri.