"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Catapult Fund

Location: New Orleans, LA

Website: www.jazzandheritage.org

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation is partnering with four organizations to create a new program that will provide opportunities for business training and access to funding for entrepreneurs in the arts.

Catapult Fund seeks applications from arts- and culture-based businesses in Louisiana. Applicants tell us about their businesses idea, explain why it fills a void in our cultural economy and show why they need the training and access to funding.

We’ll review the applications, and nine to 12 business owners will be accepted into the “Catapult Boot Camp” – a nine-session program, over an eight week period, of business development training that will include instruction in:

- Credit

- Budgeting

- Marketing

- Social Media

- Financing

- Accounting

- Bookkeeping

- Networking

- Insurance

And more.

Participants will learn to write and produce a high-quality business plan that is suitable for seeking investments or loans. Those who complete the program will also have the opportunity to earn up to $1,000 in matching funds toward their business’ saving. Finally, those who complete the training will submit their business plans to us for funding consideration. We will award a total of $50,000 in grants to the best plans.

The Catapult Fund is a program of the Jazz and Heritage Foundation, which is providing the funding and overall coordination. The project is in some ways a successor to an older program called S.E.E.D. (Supporting and Enfranchising Economic Development), which gave micro-loans to businesses in partnership with a local bank from 1994 to 2005.

"The Jazz and Heritage Foundation has over the years provided millions of dollars in grant funding to nonprofits and education programs through our Community Partnership Grants,” said Executive Director Don Marshall. "With the explosion of entrepreneurship in our region, we also want to support those businesses working in the arts that are contributing to the development of a sustainable cultural industry."

The Catapult fund is an example of how we're continuing to find ways to support our community with innovative new programs. Our partners in the Catapult Fund are:

The Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation, which will oversee the online application process;

Capital One, which programs and operates the Getting Down to Business “boot-camp” workshops in partnership with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center and;

The Ashe Cultural Arts Center, which will assist with community outreach.

Both the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation and the Ashé Cultural Center will provide help with the application process, including instructional online “webinars” and in-person help with understanding the program guidelines and completing applications. We wanted to distinguish ourselves from other entrepreneurship assistance programs by reaching deep into the grass-roots community, and making sure everyone knows about this opportunity,” Marshall said.

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