Governor McAuliffe announces $226,000 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies funding

virginia-newGovernor Terry McAuliffe today announced $226,000 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) awards for 12 projects in the Commonwealth. The BEE program provides funding to nonprofits and local governments to assist with the development of local and regional entrepreneurial economies that foster job creation and expansion by micro- and small businesses.

“Creating a place for entrepreneurs to start and grow a business is a major component of creating a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Through this program, we are funding key projects that are building and expanding strong entrepreneurial ecosystems all across the Commonwealth and creating the environment our small businesses need to succeed.”

BEE offers three types of grants including innovation, implementation and planning. The innovation grants are awards of up to $45,000 for projects that develop and test an innovative approach to service delivery and micro-business financing not currently used in Virginia. The implementation grants are awards of up to $25,000 for the projects that expand geographic coverage for micro-business support services or implement innovative ideas that have already been funded and field tested through the BEE innovation grant. Planning grants are awards of up to $7,500 to research, develop and plan for a potential project.

“In addition to creating the right atmosphere for small and micro-businesses to thrive, these grants will provide the tools and techniques that support place-based entrepreneurship,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “These businesses are so important for the economic health of our communities.”

Eighteen applications totaling approximately $400,000 in funding were received. Applications were due on December 1, 2014 and competitively evaluated, scored and ranked based on criteria including organizational and personnel capacity, reasonable goals, alignment with a local or regional community’s vision for economic and community development, and various other items.

The following projects were awarded funding through the 2015 Building Entrepreneurial Economies program:


BEE Innovation Grants

ApplicantProject NameAward Offer
Northern Virginia Family ServiceLending Circles     $ 45,000
Staunton Creative Community FundLocal Investing Program     $ 45,000
                                                                                                                                           Total:  $ 90,000


BEE Implementation Grants

ApplicantProject NameAward Offer
Floyd County Economic Development AuthorityFloyd Innovation Center Business Challenge     $ 16,000
Community Investment Collaborative (CIC)Louisa-Fluvanna Entrepreneur Workshop     $ 25,000
Waynesboro Economic DevelopmentWaynesboro Innovation and Strategic Entrepreneurship Event     $ 25,000
RVA WorksFinancial Innovation Fund     $ 25,000
                                                                                                                                           Total:  $ 91,000


BEE Planning Grants

ApplicantProject NameAward Offer
Culpeper Renaissance Inc. (CRI)Light Technology Market Alignment Plan     $ 7,500
Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional CommissionRegional Outdoor Recreation Business Development Strategies     $ 7,500
Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development AuthorityProfessional Development for the Business Owner     $ 7,500
Rappahannock GoodwillEntrepreneurship Information Clinics     $ 7,500
City of GalaxMicro-lending Program     $ 7,500
People Inc.Youth Entrepreneurship Training Program     $ 7,500
                                                                                                                                           Total:  $ 45,000


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