people sitting around a table with business strategy charts and documents spread out.

City Awards $90K in Grants to Local Impact Partners in 2020

The City of Raleigh announced the second round of Impact Partner Grant recipients. The Impact Partner Grant program is an essential piece of supporting Raleigh’s vibrant and healthy innovation ecosystem. Four regional innovators were awarded $15,000-$25,000 grants to enhance programs to and services for Raleigh entrepreneurs and small business owners across various sectors including the arts, workforce development, and nonprofit. Programming began in March. Due to COVID-19 some programs will extend into the beginning of 2021. 

  • District C introduced Project Raleigh First in 2020 with a goal to make Raleigh the first city to empower 100% of its traditional public high schools to adopt District C programming. District C set out to recruit educators from seven new target high schools in Raleigh during the 2020-2021 academic year. This increases their reach to 10 of Raleigh’s 13 traditional public high schools. Since March, District C has successfully recruited five educators from four Raleigh high schools. Educators from Wake STEM, Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy, Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy, and Sanderson participated in the summer Coaching Institute. COVID19 has had some impact on District C’s recruitment efforts and timeline. The organization hopes to offer an additional Coaching Institute this winter to meet the goal of Project Raleigh First.
  • Triangle Artworks centers their Impact Partner Grant funding on providing two programs that support the art’s craft business community for craft producing artists and the market managers. Due to the cessation of public events and mass gatherings the Market Runners Forum became an instant lifeline and moved to a monthly Zoom call to have collaborative discussions and strategy sessions for running markets during a pandemic. Between 14-19 registrants have participated in the monthly meeting since April. 

    Triangle ArtWorks has also implemented to the NC REAL Entrepreneurship Professional Craft Artist curriculum that provides professional support to Raleigh craft artists. Due to COVID-19, this in-person course was delayed as 
    facilitators had to retool the course to an online format. Over 18 participants registered for the weekly, 3-hour meetings through a private Facebook group, with two-thirds of the participants being from the city of Raleigh. Triangle ArtWorks will begin accepting registrations for the second cohort in October and is expected to begin in January 2021.

  • LaunchRALEIGH celebrated the start of their sixth cohort since the program began in 2017. Over 20 people were accepted into the program which includes 12-weeks of training, six months of mentoring, and help locating capital. Two virtual courses have been held including Building Your Business with LinkedIn and Building Your Business with Facebook which combined had over 70 participants. Two more virtual courses are scheduled to be held before February 2021. 
    Learn more about LaunchRALEIGH.
  • Wake County Empowering Entrepreneurs and Seeding Innovation (EEASI) Challenge was held for 2-weeks in July where youth, ages 14-18, engaged in experiential learning program to solve problems for businesses and communities. In total, 13 youth participated in the program that helped them to develop entrepreneurial thinking to strengthen problem-solving skills and to set them up for long-term personal and professional success. Participants overwhelmingly found value in the EEASI Challenge and increased their confidence in their ability to become an entrepreneur!

    The adult Entrepreneurship of Self program led by Wake County kicked off on September 14. The Entrepreneurship of Self is a 10-week program that teaches entrepreneurship as an essential life skill. In total, 63 applications were received with 18 participants attending orientation. This program will run until mid-November. Learn more about the programs offered by Wake County Office of Social and Economy Vitality.

The goal of the City of Raleigh Strategic Plan, Economic Development and Innovation Pillar is to create partnerships to identify best practices that will assist small, startup, and minority-owned business development and education. The Impact Partner Grant strongly supports the City’s efforts to collaborate with local organizations to encourage and implement creative programs and invest in workforce development initiatives in the community. 



Media contact:
Amanda Driscoll

Program contact:
Veronica Creech