NEWS: 36 announced as 2016 Delta Entrepreneurship Network fellows

December 01, 2015

CLARKSDALE, Miss. – Thirty-six entrepreneurs and support organizations from the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions have received a Delta Entrepreneurship Network fellowship and will participate in a series of intensive technical assistance trainings and New Orleans Entrepreneur Week—Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill announced today.

“As we move into our second year of building and growing the Delta Entrepreneurship Network, I am excited to work with this new class of fellows to strengthen our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. These fellows represent some of the brightest entrepreneurial minds in our region, whether using their knowledge to advance their own business idea or helping others pursue their entrepreneurial dreams,” Chairman Masingill said.

The 22 winning entrepreneurs were selected through a series of six pitch competitions throughout the DRA footprint. Additionally, 14 entrepreneurship support organizations were identified through a competitive application process. These regional experts and practitioners represent organizations providing a variety of technical assistance services to entrepreneurs, including hosting the Delta Challenge.

For a full list of the 2016 Delta Entrepreneurship Network Fellows, visit dra.gov/entrepreneur.

Fellows will participate in a series of technical assistance trainings on business development and facilitated discussions around the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Delta region. They will then take part in a special segment of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week—hosted by The Idea Village—on March 11-18 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Fellows will showcase their ideas to investors, participate in programmatic workshops, and connect with fellow entrepreneurs, industry experts, and mentors.

“Our hope and expectation is that with the skills, training, and network that fellows will gain from the next year of engagement, the DEN fellows will be better poised to go back to their communities and create even more opportunities for themselves and other entrepreneurs in the Delta,” Masingill continued.

The Delta Entrepreneurship Network is a program of the Delta Regional Authority created to identify, connect, and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystems that drive the Delta’s local and regional economies. The DEN is addressing regional deficiencies in access to affordable capital, training, and best practices for entrepreneurship through a connected infrastructure of support organizations, investors, and educators.

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. Through its Small Business and Entrepreneurship Initiative, the DRA has invested $9.4 million in small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Delta, creating and retaining 1,340 jobs, training more than 1,400 entrepreneurs, and leveraging nearly $17 million in other public and private investment. To learn more, visit dra.gov/entrepreneur.

Spencer Lucker
(202) 744-3558
slucker@dra.gov