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Making a Real Difference in Your Community

  • 1.  Making a Real Difference in Your Community

    Posted 03-03-2021 12:25

    Making a Real Difference in Your Community


    Poverty rates in the U.S. remain unacceptably high, while the gap between the poor and non-poor continues to grow. For its part, entrepreneurship represents a pathway of poverty, and one that should be part of the toolkit of those attempting to alleviate this vexing challenge. Yet, conventional approaches to entrepreneurship must be adapted or augmented to be effective with the poor. For this reason, we have launched the Urban Poverty and Business Initiative, a partnership of universities and nonprofits devoted to venture creation by those in poverty and from adverse backgrounds.


    Our approach centers on leveraging university and community resources to foster the ventures of the disadvantaged. We currently have programs in Gainesville, FL (University of Florida), South Bend, IN (University of Notre Dame), Baton Rouge, LA (Louisiana State University and Southern University), Milwaukee, WI (BizSmarts), San Diego, CA (San Diego State University and University of San Diego) and Lafayette, LA (University of Louisiana).


    Colleagues in the field of entrepreneurship are invited to join us and launch a similar program in your community.  We employ a common model that moves participating entrepreneurs through a number of stages over eleven months. This unique model, and associated toolkit, are predicated on the philosophy that progress begets progress as an individual entrepreneur traverses the entrepreneurial journey. The people we assist include both those at the idea stage and those who have launched something but are struggling to get traction. We are a collaborative and sharing group, and have developed a Playbook that can assist you in implementing a local program.


    For more information, please contact Michael Morris at mmorri24@nd.edu or (+1) 574-631-9880.  


    Michael H. Morris, Ph.D.
    Professor, Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation
    Keough School of Global Affairs
    3169 Jenkins-Nanovic Halls
    University of Notre Dame
    South Bend, Indiana   46556
    Ph.:  574-631-9880