COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri AfterSchool Network (MASN) announces the selection of seven afterschool programs to receive micro-grants for youth entrepreneurship programs during the 2020-2021 school year.

The announcement coincides with Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 16-22, the world’s biggest celebration of entrepreneurship, with millions of event participants and awareness campaigns in 180 countries.

“These projects hold great potential to ignite students with an entrepreneurial mindset and to inspire them to take tangible steps toward their dreams and futures,” said Mark Cowsert, MASN associate director of policy and partnerships.

Cowsert said funded projects will improve access to entrepreneurship education for middle and high school students after school, particularly among students of color, female students and rural students – groups that are underrepresented among adult entrepreneurs. Leaders also point to the contributions the projects will make to workforce development, including linking students to resources for entrepreneurs in their local and regional communities.

“Missouri afterschool programs are providing wonderful opportunities for students to explore and experience being entrepreneurs,” said Terri Foulkes, executive director of the Missouri AfterSchool Network. “We are excited for how these projects build upon the themes of Global Entrepreneurship Week and will support students who choose an entrepreneurship pathway.”

The Missouri AfterSchool Network, housed in University of Missouri Extension’s 4-H Center for Youth Development, has received funding through a grant from the Charles S. Mott Foundation to support expanding entrepreneurship opportunities, education and partnerships in afterschool programs. Through the Missouri AfterSchool Network, all school- and community-based afterschool programs can receive free access to the nationally recognized VentureLab entrepreneurship curriculum, virtual training and support for K-12 programming.

Another round of entrepreneurship micro-grants for afterschool programs will open in March 2021. Beyond micro-grants, any afterschool program can download a toolkit and support K-12 students in participating in a statewide Youth Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition to be held online May 17, 2021.

Afterschool programs selected for Round 1 micro-grants:

Boys & Girls Club of Poplar Bluff to engage TEENS (Talented-Extraordinary-Educated-Noble Students) in an entrepreneurial project printing and selling T-shirts to fund upgraded kitchen equipment for their cooking club.

Fair Play R-II Before/After School Program to design and implement a plastics recycling campaign as a social entrepreneurship project teaching environmental stewardship.

Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks to integrate entrepreneurship into its Career Launch program, engaging teens in creating and executing business plans to open and operate a club store.

Green Works of Kansas City to engage Green Works Lab students in the design, development, production, marketing and sales of a dish soap bar in partnership with a local business that manufactures natural body care products.

United by Creativity of Kansas City to empower students to create change in their world and earn money by learning how to plan, design and market a collaborative book showcasing their artwork and creative ideas.

Mission: St. Louis to build upon its entrepreneurial initiatives by engaging Beyond School program students in an eight-week enrichment program culminating in a Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge.

Neosho School District to expand upon a partnership with Crowder College and local entrepreneurs to engage students in exploring and experiencing entrepreneurship after school.

The Missouri AfterSchool Network builds partnerships and systems across the state that improve, support and sustain high-quality afterschool programs. For more information, visit

Powered by the Kauffman Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week began in 2008 with an emphasis on inspiring young people to make their mark and has grown to engage entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and support organizations advancing innovation and economic growth in 180-plus countries around the world. For more information, visit

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