Libra Group, a privately owned diversified business group with 30 subsidiaries across six continents, will commit $500,000 to launch a new annual award program for budding entrepreneurs in Miami-Dade County as well as the Bronx in New York. The American Entrepreneurship Award will provide winners with business startup funding as well as mentorship and support services.
George Logothetis, Libra Group’s chairman and CEO, announced the award at an event Tuesday morning at Miami-Dade College’s Idea Center, an entrepreneurship hub for MDC’s 165,000 students. Logothetis said the two areas were chosen because of need – Miami-Dade County is the seventh-most populous county in the United States, yet 21 percent of families having incomes below the federal poverty level. The award program also expands an existing partnership with Miami Dade College, in which 10 students are given internships at one of the Libra Group companies, which span the industries of shipping, aviation, hospitality, energy and real estate, including FCA in Miami.
Libra Group has a track record running entrepreneurship awards targeted at communities in need. In Greece, the group created the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award, now in its fourth year of operation. The winning businesses have created hundreds of jobs to the struggling Greek economy, he said. Libra Group is also a founding sponsor of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a nonprofit organization launched by President Obama and aimed at eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps for boys and young men of color.
The American Entrepreneurship Award will be open to entrepreneurs in the two regions whose business plans exhibit the promise of sustainability, financial prudence, innovation and local job creation. At least two winners – one from each region – will share a cash prize of $50,000, plus services; Miami Dade College pledged support through its Idea Center. The award program will open for entries in January; winners are expected to be announced next June. To learn more, visit www.americanaward.com.
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“In our experience, no matter who you are, and no matter where you come from, you can have an idea with the potential to become a world-class business. Through this award program we aspire to inspire anyone with the courage and the will to turn an idea into a plan of action,” said Logothetis, who has committed funding for a 10-year awards program. “It’s one of our ways of giving back.”