Three Northeast Ohio organizations are finalists for a Community Innovation Award, which involves receiving a $25,000 grant. Here's what they have done to place:
Slavic Village Development has attempted to revitalize its community by making vacant and foreclosed properties available at a reduced cost for buyers who agree to restore the dilapidated homes back to code. Called The Neighbors Invest in Broadway program, Slavic Village coordinators buy the abandoned houses and provide repair estimates and financing for prospective owners.
Meanwhile, it’s all about goats and sheep with Urban Grazing. That’s a joint program between St. Clair Superior Development Corporation and Stockyard, Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development. The idea is to use the animals’ natural grazing talents to prevent overgrowth in vacant lots, which can hurt a neighborhood’s property values. Besides being cheaper than professional landscaping services, Urban Grazing also aims to generate revenue from milk, fertilizer, and wool.
And the Hispanic Business Center’s Small Business Fundamentals program provides training, business coaching, and specialized curriculum for getting small business owners the tools they need to launch their enterprise and maintain a successful model. HBC has also formed partnerships across the region to provide entrepreneurs access to capital.
The Community Innovation Awards are organized by Enterprise Community Partners Incorporated. Their mission is to build opportunity and develop partnerships nationally to boost business, create homes, and recognize organizations or individuals who help carry out their goals. Its sponsors are KeyCorp and Ohio Savings Bank.
(Article by ideastream's Brian Bull. Updates later as the winners are announced, which include the Nurture An Idea Award and the CrowdRise Challenge.)