By Joe Garvey

Old Dominion University's Strome College of Business and the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (IIE) have been awarded a $400,000 Knowledge Challenge grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The grant is a recognition of ODU's accomplishments in the area of entrepreneurship, specifically its transitional entrepreneurship initiative, which focuses on studying and supporting entrepreneurship among diverse communities in transition - veterans, women, immigrants and individuals in economic distress.

The grant application was led by Anil Nair, chair of the Management and Entrepreneurship Department at Strome with the support of graduate research assistant Chris Willis and in collaboration with faculty and IIE personnel.

"Receiving the Kauffman grant is very exciting because it validates our focus on transitional entrepreneurship, recognizing our faculty's accomplishments in research, teaching and engagement," Strome Dean Jeff Tanner said. "The Strome College of Business makes strong contributions to the wellbeing of our community, and transitional entrepreneurship is one of the best ways that we do that."

Nair said the grant will support an annual colloquium on transitional entrepreneurship at ODU over four years, and entrepreneurship training for veterans, women, high school and middle school students. Additionally, the grant will fund training and research stipends for ODU students interested in transitional entrepreneurship.

"We are honored to receive this Kauffman grant," said Nancy Grden, IIE associate vice president. "The grant recognizes ODU's interdisciplinary and experiential approach to entrepreneurship education and engagement and gives our efforts global visibility."

The Knowledge Challenge initiative aims to increase entrepreneurial success.

"The grants under this Knowledge Challenge are focused on inclusion and the importance of answering questions about the relationship between entrepreneurship, economic opportunity and mobility," said Samee Desai, director of knowledge creation and research at the Kauffman Foundation. "We're excited to learn from the research collaborations that are investigating this nexus, as well as to a more inclusive research pipeline that will continue to push us forward. As we all struggle with the very serious effects of COVID-19, we need research that informs our way forward, not to go back to how things were, but to achieve a more resilient and inclusive economic system that serves all of us in the future."

The Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan organization that works with communities in education and entrepreneurship to increase opportunities that allow all people to learn, take risks and own their success. The Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and uses its $2 billion in assets to collaboratively help people be self-sufficient, productive citizens.

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