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Saturday, November 27, 2021

GMCCI receives a Central Standards grant from Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to support the Return to Better initiative focused on growing entrepreneurship

Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a catalyst for advancing our region's economy, improving our quality of life and enhancing our members' success.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–The Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GMCCI) was recently awarded a 3-year $200,000 grant to the Muscatine Chamber Foundation to help further support for the launch of the Return to Better framework for entrepreneurial ecosystem building; using a tangible set of tools & resources created to seed, build, and grow entrepreneurs and small businesses from all walks of life in Muscatine. This balanced approach to nurturing entrepreneurs through multiple phases of their growth connects capital, education, and resources for measurable social and economic impact across the entire community.

“If we’re going to build the Heartland that includes all communities and voices, we need to start with focusing on growing an inclusive economy that centers entrepreneurship and innovation. As difficult as that work will be, it will be made even more difficult if we try to do it alone and disconnected. Central Standards grantees are partnering and collaborating to build thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Heartland while also connecting the region to the most innovative practices from across the country.” 

—Chris Harris, senior program officer in Entrepreneurship at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

The Return to Better initiative, initially launched in May, in partnership with the Return to Better Institute and Institute for Work and the Economy, will ultimately provide a sustainable foundation for entrepreneurs to thrive while similarly creating opportunities for established corporations and institutions to support new idea economy relevant clusters and opportunities.

In order to spread awareness of the Return to Better initiative, GMCCI is excited to announce two upcoming events that are open to the public:

Muscatine Open Coffee Club (MOCC) – Held on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 8-9 a.m. at rotating locations, MOCC gives entrepreneurs, resource providers, and local leaders an opportunity to connect and share meaningful conversation around the journey of entrepreneurship and its highs and lows. Next session: Thursday, Oct. 21st at 8 a. m. at River’s Edge Gallery (free coffee and pastries provided)

Business Model Canvas 101 – Coming in quarter four, the Business Model Canvas 101 session will introduce entrepreneurs to a useful tool that is often used as a first step in business creation, well before a detailed business plan is needed. More details to be announced soon!

Erik Reader, President and CEO of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed his excitement about this grant award with the following statement:

“We’re excited to have our efforts noticed and rewarded with support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Entrepreneurship and innovation is nothing new to Muscatine, but this funding and technical assistance will help solidify our approach in providing services to the community.”


About Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to increase opportunities that allow all people to learn, to take risks, and to own their success. The Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and uses its $2 billion in assets to collaboratively help people be self-sufficient, productive citizens. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with us at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn


About GMCCI: The Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GMCCI) is a catalyst for advancing our region’s economy, improving our quality of life, and enhancing our members’ success. Founded in 1944, we are involved in an aggressive program of work designed to create a prosperous economic and business climate throughout Muscatine County. Both today and in the future, we strive to provide value, meet our members’ needs, be innovative and offer a wide range of professional and business development programs for enterprises of all sizes.


About Return to Better Institute: The Return to Better Institute is an accomplished group of entrepreneurs, educators, ecosystem builders, and economic development professionals that have created a sustainable framework to help communities build and grow support for entrepreneurship and new business creation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


About Institute for Work and the Economy: The Institute for Work and the Economy (IWE) is an independent, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) not-for-profit public policy collaborative. IWE’s mission is to support workers and their families in their quest to achieve the promise and security of work. We do this by: advancing equitable policies and practices that lead to successful, family-sustaining, and satisfying careers; fostering the development and growth of innovative enterprises and entrepreneurship; advancing the interests of small and medium enterprises within the context of larger national and global economic forces; incorporating inclusive and equitable community benefits in all of our work; and by respecting and honoring the agency of all stakeholders regardless of their status. The Institute operates under the direction of an independent and diverse board of directors with deep experience in the U.S. and abroad.

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