The Kauffman Foundation this week opened its applications for the 2021 Heartland Challenge, a new funding opportunity for nonprofits that support entrepreneurs. The 2021 Heartland Challenge will fund entrepreneurship support organizations to pilot solutions for specific challenges faced by entrepreneurs in four states—Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas.
The program will seek to fund projects focused on one of the following challenges:
Challenge 1: Co-creating objective, milestone-based entrepreneurship training programs to mitigate the impact of implicit bias faced by entrepreneurs from communities systemically left behind.
Challenge 2: Addressing rural business transfer opportunities by providing education on models of shared business ownership, including business cooperatives.
Challenge 3: Building cross-university programs that increase knowledge related to securing research and development funding, and commercializing available technology in order to start new businesses.
Applicants may request funding for up to $300,000 to be distributed over a three-year period ($100,000/year). The initiative will give out up to $1.5 million in funding in total.
The application process will consist of two-stages. The first is a preliminary application and the second is a full proposal. Applications are now open and are due by March 10.
As part of the launch, Kauffman will be holding a Facebook Live session on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. for any interested applicants.