The Path Forward Center Receives Grant from Kauffman to Support Replication of the ACTiVATE(R) Women’s Entrepreneurship Program

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The Kauffman Foundation awards grant in support of replication of the award-winning ACTiVATE women's entrepreneurship program.

The Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, home of the award-winning ACTiVATE® program, has been awarded a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to support the creation of materials to be used in replicating the ACTiVATE® program.

The Kauffman Foundation ( is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies.

“Our research at the Kauffman Foundation shows that not only are jobs created by new companies, but that the average age of a successful entrepreneur is around 40. This supports ACTiVATE’s focus on helping mid-career women start growth-oriented companies,” says Lesa Mitchell, vice president of innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. “Regions interested in a systematic way to create high-quality jobs should consider this program as a proven and cost-effective option for doing so.”

ACTiVATE was started by the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2005 with a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Partnership for Innovation program and was later supported by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and a number of local companies. It is an award-winning entrepreneurship program and community for mid-career women to start and grow technology-based companies. Focused on technology commercialization, ACTiVATE was shown in a recent independent economic impact study to be a cost-effective method for job creation. (The full report can be downloaded at

“Given Kauffman’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, we are thrilled by its continued support of ACTiVATE,” says Center co-founder and CEO Julie Lenzer Kirk. “The Foundation’s findings validate our focus on developing and refining methods of facilitating, training and networking that uniquely address the needs of mid-career women in starting growth-oriented companies. Our methods are proven, and with this funding we will be able to support partners across the country and the world in implementing and adapting these methods, replicating our success as they launch ACTiVATE programs in their regions.”

The Path Forward Center is currently seeking licensing partners in regions with a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem in need of more growth-oriented entrepreneurs. The funding from the Kauffman Foundation is helping to assemble a comprehensive replication package, going beyond the curriculum to provide a set of tools for launching and operating this high-impact program. This turnkey approach, along with the growing network of ACTiVATE’d women across the country, positions the program to be a catalyst for economic growth.

About the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship:
The Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been formed as a nonprofit to be a catalyst for economic change by activating women to build their Business Beyond One™. Its inaugural program, ACTiVATE®, helps women start technology-enabled businesses from a variety of sources including technology transfer and then brings together complimentary programs to help women build capacity as they grow and scale their businesses. The ACTiVATE program is currently operating at The George Washington University’s Ashburn campus and is recruiting women for a new program in Columbia, Maryland.,

ACTiVATE is a registered trademark of UMBC and is used under license.

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