NC IDEA receives $100,000 reward to help NC Black Entrepreneurship Council


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DURHAM – NC IDEA, a private foundation promoting entrepreneurship and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has received a US $ 100,000 charitable contribution from the Paths Foundation to support North Carolina’s efforts Black Entrepreneurship Council (NC) to support BEC). This gift is the largest monetary contribution the foundation has received to date and coincides synergistically with the celebration of Black History Month.


“On behalf of NC IDEA and the leadership of NC BEC, we are humble and grateful to the Paths Foundation for their participation in our endeavors to promote equitable economic development through entrepreneurship,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “Your gift enables us to expand our meaningful work and come together together to tackle the inequalities that perpetuate racial differences,” added Ruhe.

In August 2020, the NC BEC was formed to lead the foundation in its programmatic and conducive ambitions to advance the black community in North Carolina. Council members work closely with the foundation to identify, recommend, and support partners and programs with the express aim of promoting black entrepreneurship in North Carolina. Most recently, as the first grant-making activity, the council awarded over $ 312,000 in grants to eight organizations across the state that took inspirational efforts to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations and economic potential of the North Carolina black community.

“The Weg Foundation values ​​organizations that are involved in our commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Mark Van Putten, CEO of the Wege Foundation. “We are proud to partner with NC IDEA on this important initiative to support black entrepreneurs and encourage new business startups across the state of North Carolina. We hope that our grant will inspire other funding partners focused on economic empowerment to support the important work of NC BEC, ”added Van Putten.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation that has set itself the task of empowering North Carolinians to realize their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe that entrepreneurs transform communities and see our work as a catalyst for positive change.

The Weg Foundation’s mission is to plant the seeds that develop leaders in business, health, education, and the arts. and to improve the lives of people in West Michigan and around the world. The Wegen Foundation was founded by Peter Melvinwege, whose father founded Steelcase in 1912, the world’s largest manufacturer of office furniture.