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MATC Foundation Receives $50,000 Grant from Helen Bader Foundation to Expand Entrepreneurship Center

July 16, 2013 

The Milwaukee Area Technical College Foundation has received a $50,000 grant from the Helen Bader Foundation to expand the college’s Entrepreneurship Center. The grant is being awarded through the Helen Bader Foundation’s Workforce Development grants program, which awards a total of $1.5 million annually to training programs, policy research, and job-creation efforts focused on Milwaukee’s economically struggling communities. 

The Entrepreneurship Center opened in April 2012 in conjunction with the launch of MATC’s Entrepreneurship technical diploma program, the first of its type in the Wisconsin Technical College System. The center provides mentoring and technical support for students, many of whom are already self-employed. According to Katherine Collins, MATC associate dean of business, “Students who benefit from the center represent the Entrepreneurship program as well as manufacturing, information technology and creative arts programs. Many own businesses that will lead our community, region and state in much needed economic growth.” 

“The city’s job growth depends on healthy small- and mid-size businesses, and the Entrepreneurship Center is where those ideas start,” said Jerry Roberts, Helen Bader Foundation program officer. “We are excited to partner with MATC to ensure those entrepreneurs have access to the tools and support they need to thrive.”

Armen Hadjinian, MATC entrepreneurship faculty member and advisor to the center, said that more than 100 students have received assistance creating strategy, developing customer awareness and managing finances. “Small business owners who are connecting with the center are now better structured for growth and success,” according to Hadjinian. “The grant from the Helen Bader Foundation will allow us to expand our offerings to current students, MATC alumni who now own their own businesses and area non-profit organizations.” 

The grant also will support scholarships for students who complete a service learning project with area non-profit organizations. The students will have the opportunity to apply their education and training in a practical environment and the organizations will receive services that often are not a part of their routine operations. 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in the growth of the U.S. economy.” Karen Mills, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration states that “…increasing entrepreneurial activity is critical to our economic vitality and global competitiveness. And that it must be a centerpiece of America’s growth agenda so that we reach our full economic potential.” 

For more information about MATC’s Entrepreneurship technical diploma, visit this link.  

Founded in 1979, the MATC Foundation, Inc., is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that exists to raise revenues, secure gifts from private-sector sources, administer the disbursement of those funds to enhance educational programs and services, and support institutional advancement activities. Visit this link for more information about the MATC Foundation.

Milwaukee-based Helen Bader Foundation, Inc. is a philanthropic leader in improving the quality of life of the diverse communities in which it works. The Foundation supports innovative projects and programs through grants, convening partners, and sharing knowledge to affect emerging issues in key areas. Awarding an average of $10 million annually, the Foundation has an emphasis on youth, aging and workforce development for at risk populations. The Foundation has awarded more than $200 million in grants and $10 million in Program Related Investments such as loans and equity investments since 1992. For more information on the Foundation, visit