Fund 17 Announces Three-Year Funding Partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation

NEW ORLEANS – This spring, local nonprofit Fund 17 was awarded funding to expand programs that provide entrepreneurial training and resources to local community members. The project, called the Fund 17 Core Pipeline, is funded by a $150,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan. The announcement was made in a press release.

“At Fund 17, we are focused on creating accessible opportunities for entrepreneurship,” said Haley Burns, founder and executive director of Fund 17. “I like to say we turn hustles into livelihoods. This support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation allows us to achieve this mission in a more effective and scalable way.”

The three-year funding project with W.K. Kellogg Foundation will allow Fund 17 to pilot, refine and scale their Core Pipeline, three tiered programs that help community members build business foundations, access capital and create jobs. The Core Pipeline consists of three programs: BenchMarks, Capital Ready and the Be the Boss Accelerator, all of which are running as of this spring. BenchMarks provides 1on1 assistance on foundations of business including legal registrations, bookkeeping and online marketing. Capital Ready helps entrepreneurs organize their personal and business finances and prepare for a micro-loan or small business loan. Finally, the Be the Boss Accelerator equips entrepreneurs with consulting, networking, workshops and professional services in order to create a hiring strategy.

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In January 2017, Fund 17 received support from W.K. Kellogg Foundation for their project “Empowering Community Enterprise in the 7th and 8th wards.” With this initial investment, Fund 17 researched the informal economy in New Orleans and tested new ways to assist under-resourced entrepreneurs. With this continued support, Fund 17 will expand the Core Pipeline Program model and ultimately will better understand how to transform informal and micro-businesses into vital engines of an equitable economy.

“As a small community organization, partnership with a national foundation like this is transformative,” Burns said. “We will be able to grow our capacity and create more impact at the local level.”


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