enFocus Receives Multiple Grant Awards to Expand Civic Innovation Program in Elkhart County

Funding from Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Community Foundation of Elkhart County will expand programming for enFocus Fellows working in Elkhart County

Elkhart County, Ind. (November 15, 2018)- enFocusa nonprofit that attracts talent to regional communities to spark innovation, has received $400,000 in funding to support its program’s expansion to Elkhart County over the next two years. An economic development fund grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and a Career Pathways IDEA grant from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County will be used to expand the successful civic innovation program that matches recent graduates with regional organizations in need of innovation. The grants will support the hiring of enFocus Fellows, who work as full-time employees in a one-year Fellowship program, and enFocus interns, part-time students who work under the guidance of Fellows.

Lex Dennis, enFocus’ Chief Strategy Officer and Program Lead for Elkhart County said, “The goal of the combined grant program is to increase the supply of talent for Elkhart County businesses and to create meaningful work experiences for recent graduates through novel community projects.”

enFocus was founded in 2012 to recruit recent graduates to work as sponsored problem solvers in the corporate, non-profit, education and public sectors. The grant will allow for up to 10 Fellowships and up to 50 internships per year in Elkhart County. enFocus Fellows and interns will work on projects with regional sponsors, ranging from data analysis and process improvement studies to the creation of new products and services for regional businesses. The projects create attractive experiences for graduates from across the globe to place their roots in the South Bend-Elkhart region.

“Through its fellowship program, enFocus empowers its team to hone their entrepreneurial thinking and develop innovative solutions to some of north central Indiana’s most pressing challenges,” said David Roberts, chief innovation officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “We’re excited to support enFocus as it expands its civic innovation program to Elkhart County, further fostering Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and contributing to regional efforts to enhance quality of place in communities to attract and keep talent in the region.”

“We believe that enFocus is another excellent example of our mission to improve the quality of life in Elkhart County by inspiring generosity,” said Pete McCown, president of the Community Foundation. “We are pleased with what they’ve presented to us and we expect them to be successful in their efforts. enFocus is another vital ink in the chain of non-profit entities that are improving our quality of life in Elkhart County.”

About enFocus:
enFocus is a nonprofit organization that empowers talent to transform communities. We recruit recent graduates as Fellows and develop them into the next generation of community leaders. enFocus Fellows work alongside experience mentors in the corporate, nonprofit, education and public sectors to discover, design, and implement innovative solutions for community benefit. We partner with local organizations to provide value on sponsor projects, and we give Fellows the tools to launch businesses or social ventures of their own.

To-date, enFocus has engaged over 650 young professionals from over 20 colleges and universities to work as paid staff on over 150 projects across Northern Indiana sponsor organizations. Nearly 100 of these individuals have stayed to call the South Bend-Elkhart region their home. Our Fellows have incubated more than 20 new businesses and created more than $50 million in economic impact through innovation projects for sponsor organizations.

Together, we are solving complex problems, growing businesses, and changing the way communities innovate. For more information, visit en-focus.org.

Startup Team