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Applications accepted through April 30 for new Innovation Fund

The N.C. Community Development Initiative is accepting applications for its new Innovation Fund grants program through April 30.

The Innovation Fund will provide grants that serve as seed capital to develop and test promising and innovative community economic development projects that will generate significant economic impact in low-resource communities.

“We are looking for creative ideas that will bring jobs and economic development to low-income communities in our state,” said Millie Brobston, the Initiative’s program officer for grant investments. “The Innovation Fund is a way for us to test new solutions and existing solutions that have worked elsewhere but have not yet been tried in underserved communities.”

The Initiative will invest in community economic development projects that include at least one of these areas of focus:

  • Job creation – Creating quality jobs for residents of persistently poor communities.
  • Green economy – Including low-income residents and communities in projects related to alternative and renewable energy, energy efficiency and resource conservation.
  • Leadership development – Developing the next generation of professionals for the community economic development sector through leadership development.
  • Sustainable development – Promoting long-term economic development in persistently poor communities through strategies that support stewardship of natural resources and strengthening local assets and resources.

The Initiative expects to make up to 15 investments of $30,000-$50,000 in nonprofit community organizations through its initial round of funding.

The Initiative will host a webinar on April 16 to provide additional information and answer questions about the Innovation Fund. To register for the webinar, visit

For more information on the Innovation Fund, visit or contact Brobston at (919) 835-6000 or

The N.C. Community Development Initiative leads North Carolina’s collaborative community economic development effort, driving innovation, investment and action to create prosperous, sustainable communities. For more information, visit

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