Editor’s note: LimeLight is a new feature from WRAL TechWire offering another means of publishing noteworthy news. Be sure to check out more LimeLight worthy news at this link.

DURHAM – Since its inception, NC IDEA ENGAGE has championed its mission to expand the reach of entrepreneurial communities in North Carolina by offering $5,000 grants to organizations and advocates supporting entrepreneurs. These small grants help develop new programs and community events; and facilitate efforts that bring like-minded folks together to support entrepreneurial activity.

WRAL TechWire LimeLight Logo


Four years and over 150 grants later, we continue to see the impact on communities throughout the state. Approximately 75% of grants have been awarded in support of organizations or individuals offering programming focused specifically on under-represented entrepreneurs; those in Tier 1 or 2 counties, minority, or female founders.

NC IDEA ENGAGE funds exciting and diverse entrepreneurial programs and events from the mountains to the coast. Recent recipients include HUSTLE Winston-Salem’s Black-Owned Table Talk, Mountain BizWorks’ Outdoor Economy ConferenceDurham SOUPSoy Emprendedor in Winston-Salem, Ice House programming at Correctional Institutions via Mayland Community College, and Carteret County Public Library’s Entrepreneurship Workshops among many, many others. A directory of organizations and events NC IDEA has supported via ENGAGE can be seen here.

NC IDEA accepts ENGAGE grant applications on a rolling basis allowing us to actively meet new organizations, and help them offer new initiatives, programming and events throughout the year. If you have a program, activity, or need that supports ambitious entrepreneurs, we would love to hear from you and invite you to apply for an NC IDEA ENGAGE grant!