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Libra Group Social Responsibility

Nation’s Capital and Baltimore included as new locations where entrepreneurs are set to win up to $25k in startup funding in collaboration with local DC Council Member Robert White

Washington, D.C., July 9, 2018 – Today, Envolve Entrepreneurship, a 501(c)(3) entrepreneurship organization, is excited to share the launch of the Envolve Award USA (formerly the American Entrepreneurship Award) with Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD. The Envolve Award is 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.

For the first time, this year Envolve is delighted to announce the application is open to the District of Columbia, and adjacent Baltimore City area.The Envolve Award USA is open to experienced and budding entrepreneurs in demonstrably underserved communities across the nation. According to the SBA’s most recent data on DC, small businesses created 5,821 net jobs in 2014, and firms employing 250 to 499 employees experienced the largest gains, adding 1,781 net jobs.

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 Atlanta, Charleston, Detroit, Flint, and the Greater New York City area. Registration commenced onWednesday, 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, 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, such as beauty and skincare, food and beverage industry, and environmental solutions.

To leverage its award programming and connect with underserved entrepreneurs in a meaningful way, Envolve partners with like-minded support organizations and city officials in each award location in order to contribute to the support of applicants and winners throughout targeted underserved communities.

Commenting on the 2018 USA award launch in DC, Christopher Upperman, CEO of Envolve stated: “Washington, DC and the surrounding area have been home for more than eight years and I’m elated our organization can give back to the diverse and multicultural individuals in this community. As a young professional I had the experience of working with Robert White on the Hill. I’m humbled not only by his leadership on behalf of DC’s residents, especially the city’s most vulnerable and in need, but by his spirit of collaboration and partnership. The district’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is continuously growing and we want to do our part to support those left out. With our 2018 award season underway, we want to encourage others to support worthy entrepreneurs through financial assistance, workshops, and other provisions. We are proud of our partners, including Councilmember Robert White, and those who are as committed to inclusive entrepreneurship as we are, and look forward to working together to make dreams become a reality.”

“I am excited to support the Envolve Entrepreneurship Program that provides DC residents with resources to pursue their entrepreneurship goals. This program is vital to economic growth and diversity in business by providing investment, commitment, and cultivation of the next generation of business owners in underserved communities.  The District of Columbia empowers our entrepreneurs and small businesses, and with Envolve, there is another champion to provide opportunities for residents to grow.”

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 and location.

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.

Photo by Jacob Creswick on Unsplash

 

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