Application for LEAP One&All Inclusive Entrepreneurship Program Open

Application for LEAP One&All Inclusive Entrepreneurship Program Open

LEAP Accepting Applications for New Program to Impact Success Rate of Underrepresented, Underserved Entrepreneurs Across Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Shiawassee Counties

Applications are now open for One&All, a new, inclusive entrepreneurship program approved last December for 2020 implementation. The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), in partnership with the Fledge, the Refugee Development Center (RDC) and the Michigan Small Business Development Center – Capital Region, designed One&All to increase opportunities for underserved individuals across Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties to successfully pursue entrepreneurship and small-business ownership.

One&All is the first program of its kind in the state of Michigan and is generously funded with a $300,000 contribution from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Innovative Fund and $200,000 from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

The beginning of the business lifecycle is known as the riskiest time for entrepreneurs and small-business owners, and a time when funds, knowledge and networks uniquely influence the likelihood of business success. According to the Kauffman Foundation, 81 percent of funding for new business ventures comes through net worth, family wealth or network connections. For underserved populations including people of color, women, persons with disabilities, immigrants, military veterans, racial or ethnic minority groups and refugees, these sources are in short supply or do not exist at all.

One&All will help alleviate this need with business support for up to 120 small-business entrepreneurs from underrepresented populations across the Lansing region, as well as a $2,500 grant to each business upon successful completion of the program.

The program offers a unique combination of immersive business and communication training, coaching and mentoring, access to an extended professional network and seed investment—all of which are common obstacles to success for entrepreneurs and small-business owners from underserved populations.

To be eligible for the One&All program, applicants must fall at or below the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Threshold and must need equal opportunity and access to all available resources that support their entrepreneurial aspirations. Program applicants can either be in the idea stage of a business or be looking to pivot and grow an existing small business. LEAP will also direct up to 50 percent of program awards specifically to residents who meet the minimum program eligibility and who are non-English speakers or learning English as a second language (ESL).

In addition to participants, LEAP is also recruiting mentors for One&All’s first 2-month program, which will start in late August. Mentors will help mentees clarify goals, identify best strategies to advance their ideas and navigate tough situations through thoughful questioning and active listening. Mentors will spend one to two hours a week with each entrepreneur they mentor during the two-month program, and one to two hours a month after the program concludes to provide a sustainable support mechanism for One&All participants. Those interested in serving as a mentor can fill out the application here.

LEAP began accepting applications today, which will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage you to share information about One&All with any entrepreneurs you know who may qualify. Those interested can find more information about program eligibility, the application review process and submit an application at purelansing.com/OneAndAll.

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 About LEAP
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business to the Lansing, Michigan, region.