First-of-its-kind organization will serve as a catalyst for change for minority businesses, and link regional nonprofits nationwide to resources and support
St. Paul, Minn. – Deluxe Corporation Foundation today announced a $70,000 award to nonprofit Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) to help launch the BizGrow Network, the first national network of nonprofits that serves minority businesses.
"While there are other organizations across the country that do work similar to MEDA's, there is no unifying national association to enable sharing of best practices, information, and connections among us," said Yvonne Cheung Ho, president and chief executive officer of MEDA. "The BizGrow Network, with founding members that stretch from Seattle to Boston, will advance our work that champions entrepreneurs of color by improving the quality of information available and providing our clients with easier access to resources."
The Deluxe Foundation grant will enable BizGrow to design the technology infrastructure that will support its mission – "turning underserved to equally served." The BizGrow Network will also focus attention on attracting additional organizations to the network.
"The Deluxe Corporation Foundation is focused on long-term solutions that help people, businesses and communities thrive and grow," said Lee Schram, chief executive officer of Deluxe and president of the Deluxe Foundation. "This mission is reflected in our continued support of MEDA. We are very proud to be involved in the establishment of the BizGrow Network which has the potential to accelerate the growth of minority businesses on a national basis."
The Deluxe Foundation has been working with MEDA for the past 24 years, investing more than $300,000 in total. In 2010, the Deluxe Foundation made an initial grant of $17,400 to sponsor a conference in which minority business development nonprofits discussed the idea of establishing a national association. Out of that conference, the idea of the BizGrow Network was born.