The Homewood section of Pittsburgh is a predominantly African-American community that has a lower income per capita than both the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania average. It’s estimated that half the community is not employed and more than one in three people are living in poverty. In an attempt to revitalize the neighborhood, Urban Innovation21 announced a $100,000 grant competition to assist businesses and entrepreneurs who living in the area.
Created in 2007, Urban Innovation21 has provided $2.8 Million in capital and business assistance to local startups. Last week the organization launched its annual $100K grant program for technology-based companies. In Homewood, Urban Innovation21 will present grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, plus up to 10 awards of $500 toward no-interest loans of up to $5,000 from Kiva.org, the non-profit microfinance site.
“We are really excited about the work to connect our region’s success to some of its poorest communities in a way that will ultimately provide wealth opportunities for minorities, women and resident-owned businesses,” said William Generett Jr., CEO of Urban Innovation21. “With the grant competition in Homewood, we look forward to propelling business creation and growth in a community that is in need of an economic boost.”
Complete information on the Homewood-based grant competition, including application instructions, can be found at www.urbaninnovation21.org/grants. Applications are due Feb. 15, 2013.