This spring, the Foundation Board voted to target out of work and laid off residents of Maricopa County for our entrepreneurial training. The Board agreed that enough people were laid off that wide-ranging outreach was necessary to help people consider alternatives to the traditional job search.
Using as a template the LaunchPad initiative of the Kauffman Foundation, which targeted the same population, we developed a three-hour workshop called Blueprint for Survival, and offered it six times this spring to crowds that overflowed the room (after the first time).
We had a great deal of community participation in the program, especially from one person, Derek Neighbors, co-founder of Integrum Technologies and Gangplank, who volunteered his time and talent to help us offer the program, and actually also hosted it at Gangplank four times.
Gangplank, which itself is a community service, has joined forces with us to help struggling entrepreneurs get started and grow. It will be a prime player in our major fundraiser this fall, the 4th Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference