HomeInsightAdviceHeartland Forward Builders + Backers Idea Accelerator Program Accepting Applications for New...

Heartland Forward Builders + Backers Idea Accelerator Program Accepting Applications for New Business Grants

The second-annual Idea Accelerator program is open to Eastern Shawnee tribal members to receive money to help start new businesses.

Heartland Forward and Builders + Backers are opening applications for five Eastern Shawnee tribal members to access training, resources and up to $5,000 to start potential businesses or ventures.

Tribal members in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma with a creative and unexpected idea for a new business or for solving a problem facing their community are encouraged to apply.

The Builders + Backers Idea Accelerator Program is designed to make it easy for anyone to experiment with entrepreneurship. Applicants are not required to submit a business plan or have a pitch deck for their idea. This new cohort of five Eastern Shawnee tribe builders is part of Heartland Forward’s commitment to supporting 1,000 builders across the heartland by 2023.

“Problem-solving with an entrepreneurial mindset is key to rebuilding our post-COVID local economies, and the Builders + Backers Idea Accelerator has already proven to be a successful, meaningful way to accelerate the entrepreneurial thinking needed to help our communities thrive,” said Ross DeVol, president and CEO of Heartland Forward. “We’re thrilled to be expanding this program for Eastern Shawnee tribal members across four states as part of our commitment to support 1,000 builders across the heartland by 2023. We’re confident this next cohort of builders will have the innovative thinking and ideas to create real change in their communities, and we look forward to seeing what they can accomplish in the months and years to come.” 

Those interested can apply here. Webinars will be held for interested applicants to learn more about the program on April 18 and May 3. The application deadline is Monday, May 22. Residents with the most promising and innovative ideas will be selected to participate in a two-month long virtual program starting June 8, 2023.

“We hear from hundreds of builders who have already been through the Idea Accelerator that they needed a low-barrier way to take their idea and test it out,” said Donna Harris, CEO of Builders + Backers. “Many had been sitting on their idea for a long time, not quite sure what to do next or unable to take the big leaps required for many entrepreneurial programs. Our fast, virtual, yet highly hands-on approach is exactly what they needed. We’re excited to partner with Heartland Forward to help more members of the Eastern Shawnee tribe that we know are waiting for this opportunity.”

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