Four entities that work to support small businesses in the bioinnovation and health sciences sector in New Orleans will share in a $500,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to expand their efforts in that arena, the banking institution announced Thursday.
The grant will be split among the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, a technology business incubator; the New Orleans Business Alliance, a public-private economic development agency; the Good Work Network, which provides business development assistance to minority- and women-owned businesses; and the Idea Village, a nonprofit that works to identify and retain entrepreneurs in New Orleans.
The allocation is part of Chase’s Small Business Forward initiative, a five-year, $30 million program designed to promote small-business growth in specific industries or “clusters.”
New Orleans is one of 10 cities to receive a grant through the program this year. Others include San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles.
Public and private organizations, including the Business Alliance, have identified the bioinnovation and health services cluster as a potential area of growth in New Orleans. It is one of five sectors that the organization included in its ProsperityNOLA report, the city’s five-year plan for economic growth.
The Business Alliance will receive $150,000 of the $500,000 grant to support its work in developing the sector.
The largest share of the grant, $200,000, will go to the BioInnovation Center. The money will fund educational opportunities for entrepreneurs and assist in planning for a second phase of the facility, which opened on Canal Street in 2011.
The Good Work Network will receive $100,000. The remaining $50,000 will go to the Idea Village.