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U.S. Department of Commerce Announces $600,000 Investment to Support Entrepreneurship and Job Creation in Louisiana

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Secretary Pritzker Made Announcement at The Idea Village During Nationwide Listening Tour

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $600,000 grant to The Idea Village, Inc., of New Orleans, La., to support programs that assist entrepreneurs in building their businesses and creating jobs. Secretary Pritzker is in New Orleans today as part of her nationwide listening tour, and made the announcement at The Idea Village after meeting with local entrepreneurs, mentors and business leaders.

“The Obama administration is committed to strengthening regional economies through places like The Idea Village, which fosters entrepreneurship and supports job growth,” said Secretary Pritzker. “America’s entrepreneurs and business owners have created 7.3 million jobs over the past 41 months. The EDA grant announced today will build on The Idea Village’s record of success in nurturing New Orleans’ businesses and entrepreneurs to continue helping them innovate, grow, and create new jobs in the region.”

“Since its inception in 2000, The Idea Village has recognized that New Orleans has the assets needed to become an authentic self-sustaining entrepreneurial community and has worked to activate a global network to identify, support, and retain entrepreneurial talent in the city,” said Tim Williamson, Co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village. “This investment and partnership from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration is great validation that a movement has become a model – creating jobs, opportunities, choices, and a new generation of leaders for our community.”

“New Orleans entrepreneurship continues to be one of the major catalysts for economic and job growth in the region,” U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu said. “This strategic, federal investment will continue to support one of our more successful programs in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it is a recognition that our innovators are setting the pace for similar groups nationwide. I congratulate the Idea Village on securing this award and thank Secretary Pritzker for visiting New Orleans to personally make this award as part of her nationwide listening tour.” 

The EDA investment announced today will support more than 300 businesses, according to grantee estimates. Specifically, it will fund additional technical assistance programs, especially in such growing fields as technology, biomedical engineering, and media production; help with expansion of The Idea Village’s successful “Entrepreneur Season,” a six-month-long program of business assistance and education; and support more forums, workshops, and networking sessions that will be offered during New Orleans’ Entrepreneur Week. EDA previously awarded two grants to The Idea Village – $800,000 in 2009 and $400,000 in 2011 – which helped the organization build their capacity to assist entrepreneurs.

To learn more about the U.S. Economic Development Administration, visit