DURHAM –  NC IDEA announced on Friday 15 new partnerships through the organization’s ECOSYSTEM program at the Foundation’s 2021 Ecosystem Summit.

The partnerships, known as regional impact grants, are meant to “further strengthen the infrastructure supporting North Carolina entrepreneurs,” said Ruhe.

The grant program from NC IDEA required at least two organizations within a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem to collaborate on a program supporting entrepreneurs that were building scalable businesses, with a goal of spurring and strengthening collaboration and resource sharing within regions across the state.  Several such partnerships were funded under the leadership of the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council, NC BEC, said NC IDEA, due to the focus on elevating black entrepreneurship in the selected region.

According to NC IDEA, the recipients of the ECOSYSTEM grants are:


ACCESS Center for Equity + Success and Knox St. Studios
Black Girl Magic Market and The Wright Village and National Coalition of Black Women Rising and City of Asheville Business Inclusion Office
First Flight Venture Center and NCSU Industry Expansion Solution/NC Manufacturing Extension Partnership
WE Power Food and NC NIK

Charlotte/Central Piedmont Region

Davidson County Community College Small Business Center and Venture Asheboro and City of Thomasville and City of Lexington
Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Launch LKN and First Turn Innovations

Eastern NC Region

Crisp Small Business Resource Center and Campbell University
Nash County Community College Small Business Center and Nash County Economic Development

Piedmont Triad Region

HUSTLE Winston-Salem and Flywheel Foundation

Research Triangle Region

Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center and Innovate Carolina

Western NC/Mountains Region

Boundless Impact and Western NC Community College’s Small Business Network
Corporation for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and WCU Rapid Prototype Development Center
GRIND, LLC and Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation
Warrior Moms and The Sequoyah Fund

Wilmington/Coastal NC and Sandhills Region

Network for Entrepreneurs in Wilmington and UNCW CIE and UNCP Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub