E3 Open Application Cycle is Now Open for New Castle County Entrepreneurs

Following a successful pilot, the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation, in partnership with Wilmington Alliance, is accepting applications for the next round of entrepreneurs in New Castle County, through the Foundation’s Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3), supported by Barclays.  Entrepreneurs eager to take their business to the next level can apply to receive support and financial resources towards their business growth. 

E3, launched in March of 2020, was designed to create an equitable landscape for all businesses to succeed.  In the E3 pilot, three small businesses, NERDiT Now, Kpelle Designs, and Spekciton Biosciences, were selected to receive customized business coaching along with a comprehensive wrap around service plan to accelerate their business. 

E3 enables entrepreneurs to engage with experienced, knowledgeable experts from public and private sectors to help build and boost their businesses.  Through E3, statewide leaders come together to vet, incubate, and accelerate Delaware small businesses, with an emphasis on supporting Black and brown business owners.

Those selected will receive support within the five key entrepreneurial lifecycle focus areas:

  1. Coaching and Business Planning
  2. Marketing and Promotion
  3. Information Technology and Infrastructure
  4. Space Planning and Design
  5. Access to Funding Sources

Applications for the next New Castle County cohort will be accepted from May 1, 2021 through May 14, 2021.  An informational webinar will be held on May 10, 2021 from 12:00-1:00 pm for anyone who may have additional questions.  Click Here to register for the webinar.  Applications will be reviewed by a Statewide Advisory Committee composed of PDFF Board Members, regional leaders, funders, and successful minority business owners. Those selected will be notified by May 30, 2021. 

CLICK HERE to access the E3 application for New Castle County Entrepreneurs

Additionally, the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation is actively recruiting entrepreneurial service providers, consultants, and vendors to join our network.  These vendors will have the opportunity to work with E3 entrepreneurs across New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties, at various levels of support.  Specialties must include at least one of the five key entrepreneurial focus areas.  Click Here to apply, or contact Stephanie Johnnie at stephanie@petedupontfreedomfoundation.org to learn more. 

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive announcements regarding upcoming E3 activity in Kent and Sussex Counties. 

MBNA named 2021 Freedom Award Winner

The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation has selected MBNA as this year’s recipient of its Freedom Award, it was announced by Board Chair Thère du Pont. The award ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington. 

For the first time, the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation has chosen to honor a business rather than an individual. “This honoree captures both my father’s enthusiasm for entrepreneurial innovation and the priority he placed on job growth,” said du Pont. “The 1981 Financial Center Development Act was the centerpiece of his efforts to attract employers to Delaware by creating an innovative regulatory environment. MBNA, displaying both courage and vision, was one of the first to take advantage of the FCDA and immediately created a distinctive culture wrapped around service to the customer and generosity to the local community.  Its impact on Delaware continues to this day and one wonders whether any of that would have happened without the vision shared by my father and MBNA’s leaders,” he added. 

The Pete du Pont Freedom Award is presented annually to an individual or organization who has championed a successful idea which has led to economic growth or brought innovation to the private sector. The award honors one of Delaware’s finest leaders, Governor Pete du Pont, who delivered Delaware from harsh fiscal times into an age of vibrant economic growth by working with the legislature, business and community leaders, and educators. 

Recent Freedom Award recipients include Charlie Horn, Carol Ammon, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Mike Castle. The Freedom Award presentation serves as a key fundraising effort to help support the Foundation’s work to identify and bring to life bold and innovative ideas to make Delaware even better. As an added bonus, the presentation will include a progress report on the Reinventing Delaware competition and celebrate our Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3) and Reinventing Delaware alumni. 

This year’s award presentation will be held from 6:00-8:30PM and will include passed hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beverages. “The Freedom Award is held in downtown Wilmington in the hopes that attendees will support local restaurants by having dinner beforehand or after the event,” said du Pont. 

Sponsorship opportunities for the Freedom Award are available. Each sponsorship opportunity includes a corresponding number of complimentary tickets as well as inclusion in the event program, and mentions in event publicity. Contact Stephanie Johnnie at stephanie@petedupontfreedomfoundation.org to learn more. 

Remembering Vice President Walter Mondale – JAG’s Founding Board Member and the First Investor

The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation recognizes the important work of former Vice President Walter Mondale, who passed away on April 19, 2021 at the age of 93. 

Mondale was the first investor in, and a founding board member of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), which was formed in 1980. The program was based on the early success of Jobs for Delaware Graduates, formed under Governor Pete du Pont as an employment counseling and job placement program for high school seniors not bound for college.

Pete, a Republican, and Mondale, a Democrat, worked together in bipartisanship to make Jobs for America’s Graduates possible. As Ken Smith, President of Jobs for America’s Graduates, recently reflected on Mondale’s original phone call to Pete: The Vice President was funny and energetic when he kicked off the call with this quote: “Pete, I am not in the business of helping Republican Governors – but in this case we believe you really do have something very special.”

With the investment of the Carter-Mondale team and based on the success in Delaware, the JAG program was launched in four other states; ultimately achieving he same kind of early success as the Jobs for Delaware Graduates had.  Today, 40 years later, Jobs for America’s Graduates operates in 1,450 locations in 40 states and has served more than 1.5 million young people.

JAG helps young people of truly great promise succeed both in school and on-the-job, leading to a productive and rewarding career. The JAG Model consists of a comprehensive set of services designed to keep young people in school through graduation and improves their success rates in education and career.

The featured photo is from the JAG grant-signing event in the White House Rose Garden, with Governor du Pont, Vice President Mondale, and Ernie Green, then Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training.

PDFF Announces Date for 2nd Annual Golf Tournament

PDFF will be hosting our 2nd annual golf tournament on Monday, August 30, 2021 at the DuPont Country Club. Join us for a day of upscale golfing, followed by an awards reception featuring a silent auction, prizes, hors d’oeuvres, dinner and an open bar. All proceeds are tax-deductible and will directly benefit PDFF’s E3 and RD entrepreneurs to help grow their businesses and create more job opportunities for Delawareans.

Choose to play on the DuPont Course OR opt to play on the Montchanin Course, tailored to the novice golfer. Each option includes a tournament gift, green fees, cart fees, lunch, beverages and snacks on the course, and access to the awards reception. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Click HERE to see the full list of options as well as the full tournament details.

For more information or to register, contact stephanie@petedupontfreedomfoundation.org or visit https://birdease.com/PDFF.

You can also mail your registration form and check to: PO Box 221, Montchanin, DE 19710

We look forward to seeing you on the course!

PDFF 2021 Golf Tournament Brochure