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UIS Center for Entrepreneurship accepting applications for grants

April 7, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – The Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Illinois at Springfield currently has available, and is accepting applications for, nine $5,000 matching grants that will be awarded by June 15 to innovative small businesses in the area. Any existing or proposed business venture from the Springfield area can participate in the UIS Grants and Awards program.

Download a Grant Application

Each of the $5,000 awards requires a $5,000 match from the applicant. Ronald McNeil, dean of the College of Business and Management at UIS, noted, "We are very pleased to announce that Brandt Consolidated/Evelyn Brandt Thomas, the Sangamon County Department of Community Resources' CSBG Loan Program, Springfield Electric Supply Company, and Wiley Office Furniture/Ken Hoffman have pledged a total of $11,000 that can be used to assist awardees in meeting the match."

The Center is part of the Innovate Illinois Project offered through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. This statewide project is designed to identify innovative small businesses that create economic development and jobs in Illinois. Each participating center in the state offers grants to local innovative small businesses.

Innovation is defined as a novel product, service, or internal process that solves a market problem or internal inefficiency.  A proposed innovation must have the potential to foster economic growth through revenue generation and/or job creation.  Eligible applicant firms, existing and proposed, must be located in Illinois; must generate revenue; must have recently introduced or be in process of introducing an innovative product, service or process; and must  demonstrate ability to capture a high-growth market opportunity.

The Center for Entrepreneurship at UIS works in collaboration with EntreNET, a network of organizations and individuals in greater Springfield designed to form one seamless program of opportunity for entrepreneurs. EntreNET is composed of over 40 partners that dedicate their energies to encouraging development of business in central Illinois. The Center for Entrepreneurship at UIS and EntreNET strive to become a driving force for new and exciting business initiatives within the region.

Applications for the UIS matching grants program and additional information are available online at www.uis.edu/cbam/centerentrepreneurship.htm or through Dr. Richard Judd, director of UIS’ Center for Entrepreneurship, by phone at 217/206-7918 or by e-mail at judd.richard@uis.edu.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.