Courtesy of The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – A venture assessment program operated by i2E Inc. and seven state partners is expanding to rural Oklahoma and Native American entrepreneurs with the assistance of a $200,000 matching federal grant from the Economic Development Administration.
State partners include the Cherokee Nation, Choctaw Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma Business Roundtable and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology. Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma Inc. is also a supporting partner.
Known as GrowOK, the expanded program will start this spring with a curriculum designed for rural communities and Native American entrepreneurs.
The GrowOK curriculum will challenge rural and Native American entrepreneurs to identify their customers and determine whether their concept solves a true market need, said Scott Meacham, i2E’s president and CEO.
“Thanks to the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) and our great partners here in Oklahoma, this program will allow i2E to take our services to the state’s Native American and rural entrepreneurs in areas where they live and work,” Meacham said. “Our mission with GrowOK will be to help grow successful ventures in rural communities across the state.”
The Venture Assessment Program has been provided as an intensive three-week course at i2E’s Tulsa and Oklahoma City offices since 2015.
The first GrowOK class is expected to start in Ada in May.