The University of North Georgia (UNG) has received a $200,000 grant from Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, for the development of entrepreneurial resources in rural communities.
In partnership with Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber of Commerce, the Lumpkin County School District, and the Development Authority of Lumpkin County, the grant funding will commission a study to map the existing resources that support innovation and entrepreneurship in Dahlonega and Lumpkin County and identify needed resources that don’t currently exist in order to create a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Georgia’s historic economic success is unfolding in all four corners of the state,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “As a result of developing strong partnerships with public and private stakeholders on the local level, communities in north Georgia are increasingly benefitting from private-sector investments like this that will continue to spur transformational job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
“The generous grant from Google.org in support of rural communities comes at a perfect time as we are bringing on a new director for our Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the next few months, and as the community is continuing to build its focus on attracting and growing new ventures for the area,” Dr. Mary Gowan, dean of UNG’s Mike Cottrell College of Business (MCCB), said. “Senator Gooch made the connection for us, and once again demonstrated his commitment to opening doors for new initiatives for the university and the community.”
With a heavy STEM focus at UNG and the Lumpkin County School System, this grant will also allow the partnering groups to create programming to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the area, according to a UNG news release.
UNG’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is developing a broader footprint to include community programming. Computer science and cybersecurity are STEM programs housed in the MCCB and an area of growing interest for entrepreneurial activity, along with health care and other STEM programs at UNG.
The Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber of Commerce recently developed a co-working space, providing a place for small businesses, nonprofits, and start-up businesses to gain access to high-speed internet, workspace, conference rooms and other resources that would otherwise not be accessible to them.
(Pictured: Dr. Mary Gowan, center, dean of UNG’s Mike Cottrell College of Business, with Rebecca Mincey, Lumpkin County Community and Economic Development Director, and Robb Nichols, Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.)