ESL Charitable Foundation makes award to RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship

Funding will be used to support program aimed at helping young businesses grow




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ESL Charitable Foundation has donated $25,000 to Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship.

The funding, announced today at the grand opening of CUE’s 40 Franklin St. offices, will go toward the center’s Capacity Building Program, said Ebony Miller, CUE interim director.

“We are very grateful to the ESL Charitable Foundation for its contribution to this very important CUE program,” Miller said. “This funding will go a long way to help our business clients grow and prosper and build the city’s economy.”

The Capacity Building Program is an intensive six-month customized training program designed for fledgling entrepreneurs that assesses the business’ structure; teaches business owners key skills like finance, marketing, and selling, among others; and stresses growth stimulation. Businesses must be in operation for a year, Miller said.

“CUE’s commitment to developing small businesses in the community, and to strengthening an ecosystem of support, so that small businesses can flourish, aligns well with ESL’s desire to drive economic success in the Greater Rochester area,” said Ajamu Kitwana, executive director of ESL Charitable Foundation. “ESL believes that a community’s prosperity depends on the prosperity of all of its members. At ESL, we are genuinely vested—and invested —not only in the success of local businesses, but in the success of families, employees, and the community at large.”

Located in the heart of the downtown innovation zone, Center for Urban Entrepreneurship helps reshape the regional economy and build wealth within the urban community by being the hub for urban entrepreneurial programs and research.