A group of public and private organizations is looking to attract young entrepreneurs to Anderson. Anderson University is using a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment to lead a partnership that has launched Anderson Now, which offers school loan repayment for graduates of Indiana colleges who start or relocate a business in the city. The city of Anderson and a group of small businesses are also taking part in the program.
In a release from the school, Anderson University professor and IDEA-U Director Deborah Miller Fox says the partnership is a natural fit for all parties involved. "We have talented young people with big ideas for whom college debt is a barrier to the dream of starting their business. The city of Anderson wants to bring new business to the area. Lilly Endowment wants to help keep Indiana graduates in Indiana. The Anderson Now program seemed like a way to tackle all of these challenges and to remain true to the goal of encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation."
Anderson Now will select 10 Indiana college graduates who are willing to move or start their businesses in Anderson and provide them each up to $25,000 in educational loan repayment. Organizers say participants will also have access to ongoing business and technical support, a coworking space and affordable housing.
To be considered for the Anderson Now program, applicants must be graduates of a four-year Indiana college of university, have student loan debt and present a viable business plan for a business to be located in Anderson. Those looking to participate must also complete a Bankable loan application and interviews with the Anderson Now advisory team, which includes small business owners, members of the Madison County Corp. for Economic Development and Bankable, which is the loan program of the Flagship Enterprise Center.
Anderson University President John Pistole says the program shows the school’s commitment to "helping keep those bring, young professionals in the state of Indiana." He says it also shows the university’s commitment to Anderson, "which we call home."
You can find more information about the program, including the screening form to begin the application process, by clicking here.
Williams says the benefits reach well beyond money.