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Posted 23 Feb 15 By: No comments yet

Albuquerque Innovation Fund to offer grants to business-boosting nonprofits (Albuquerque Business First)

Later this spring, more Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation money will come to Albuquerque to support entrepreneurial efforts, said Steve Maestas, the CEO of Maestas Development Group and founder of NAI Maestas & Ward.
The new Albuquerque Innovation Fund will go live on March 27 as a partnership between the city of Albuquerque, the Kauffman Foundation and the Albuquerque Community Foundation, Maestas said. The fund will make grants to nonprofits that support entrepreneurship and job creation.
"I would say it's an initiative that we're employing to further the development of this job formation and company formation and growth locally," he said. Maestas is also a trustee of the Community Foundation.

Though the details and funding sizes are yet to be worked out, Maestas said Monday that the Albuquerque Community Foundation will manage the effort and will rely on local partners.
"You need money to support entrepreneurs," said Jonathan Robinson, a manager of entrepreneurship programs at the Kauffman Foundation. "You need the money because there are additional needs, education, mentorship and creating density. You also need it to validate and evaluate programs that help entrepreneurs so that you know that a program is doing what it says to be doing."
Though Robinson said the fund's size has not been determined, he did say it will rely on community resources.
"If we believe that we need to sustain the economy, we need to invest and reinvest in it," Maestas said. "There's a lack of resources, and by that I mean poverty. There's a lack of skills, and by that I mean we're poorly educated. Albuquerque is poised. We are close. About the only thing we're missing is more involvement from the business community."

-Dan Mayfield, Reporter
Albuquerque Business First


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