Creating OpportunityDURING COVID-19
By Stephen Sye, Executive Director, Pete Dupont Freedom Foundation
Former Delaware Governor Pete Du Pont’s public life was spent pushing government to advance our economy. The Pete Du Pont Freedom Foundation honors Pete Du Pont’s legacy of innovation and enterprise by fostering private sector economic growth. Each year, the Foundation holds the Reinventing Delaware event -- which invites participants to propose a bold for-profit or nonprofit idea that creates jobs to make Delaware a better place to live, work and raise a family. Through Reinventing Delaware, the Foundation cultivates and facilitates a process to empower those who have a vision for the Delaware of tomorrow.
In 2020 as a direct response to the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on entrepreneurs and small business, the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation created a new program; the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3).
E3 complements the Foundation’s Reinventing Delaware program by establishing teams of organizations willing to step up as ecosystem partners to support ideas from conception to launch and beyond.
The E3 program is designed to leverage the expertise and experience available in Delaware’s private and public sectors to grow opportunities for businesses and related employment.
E3 ecosystems implement a process that continually feeds entrepreneurs into pipelines that provide access to necessary resources and connections to accelerate the launch or growth of their businesses. The E3 network was developed to engage entrepreneurs at any stage! E3 will look at conceptual opportunities (ideas with potential that warrant additional research), development opportunities (ideas in place or where there is a strong market potential), existing business opportunities (where the initiative needs guidance to reach the next step), and expansion opportunities (where an existing initiative is ready to scale up) in order to help businesses at various stages.
The E3 initiative began with Wilmington as a pilot program. The three businesses chosen to receive full support from the Foundation include NerdiT Now, Kpelle Designs, and Spekciton Biosciences. This process is well underway and has begun looking for development opportunities in the landscape. Dover E3 is completing the scoping process for their chosen organizations, First State Hood & Duct and Before & After Thought Lifecoaching LLC. E3 Sussex is still looking for nominations of businesses with promising opportunity for economic growth.
If you know any entrepreneurs that may benefit from the support of the E3 program, would like to know more, or become a part of the E3 network, please feel free to contact Executive Director, Stephen Sye, at firstname.lastname@example.org