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Augustana Creative Enterprise Fund

The Augustana Creative Enterprise Fund (ACEF) provides students the opportunity to start an entrepreneurial venture and serve the local and national region, and/or parts of the developing world.

ACEF is open to students of all majors prior to their senior year. These students should have an interest in launching an entrepreneurship venture that fulfills Augustana's mission of challenging and preparing students for lives of leadership and service in a complex and changing world.

Grants will range from $1,500 to $5,000. Four to six grants will be awarded each academic year. 

The grant supports a wide range of opportunities that include, but are not limited to, business and social entrepreneurship, education ventures, and sustainable community development programs domestically and in developing countries. Students who can effectively link the fine and performing arts or music education to the proposed venture are particularly encouraged to apply.

Funds help students develop their business plan and strategy, identify other appropriate funding streams to make the enterprise sustainable if applicable, launch the effort and validate their product or service. It is ideal if the winning projects can position themselves for sustainability and growth, or find ways of sustaining their service efforts with Augustana community members.

The award recipient will retain any profits from these ventures while in college or after.

Apply for a grant from the Augustana Creative Enterprise Fund

Frequently asked questions

Who can apply for an ACEF Grant?

The student must be in his or her first, second or third year at Augustana, and be in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75

Enrollment in the Entrepreneurship Certificate Program is preferred. In phase II of the grant, eligibility could be extended to students who are in the first year or two after graduation from the college.

How will the recipients be selected?

An ACEF advisory committee led by the associate vice president of career development will make a recommendation to the provost and president. The provost will select the final choice  in consultation with the president.

How much is each grant?

ACEF Grant awards range from $1,500 to $5,000. The grant period is one year. Four to six grants will be awarded each academic year. The grants will be managed by CORE (Careers,  Opportunities, Research and Exploration) and will follow a similar process as Augie Choice disbursement. Recipients will meet regularly as a group and with their project advisor and mentors throughout the duration of the grant and provide biweekly reports for their advisors.

May a student re-apply for an additional grant?

Yes, provided the student meets one of the following conditions and provides evidence of effective use of initial funds, including the possibility and acknowledgement of failure, learning mistakes, mid-course corrections and lessons learned through the experience: (a) Consideration for a second completely different project; (b) For another aspect of the same project.

How will Augustana measure the progress of and impact on ACEF recipients?

The Career Development office will track the development, implementation, and success and/or failure of the various types of ventures students' launch using ACEF funds. The office will provide an annual report that gives an update on the status for each funded venture during the grant period.

Individual grant recipients will provide a reflection on how the grant has helped them in pursuing their passion and in their own personal growth and development. The Career Development office will oversee the reflection requirement. Award recipients also will provide evidence to demonstrate their ability to connect what they learned in the classroom and in their co-curricular experiences, and the application of these knowledge and skills in ways that make a positive and lasting impact in society.

How does the ACEF support Augustana 2020?

ACEF supports two of the three platforms of Augustana 2020:

• Enhanced preparation. Augustana 2020 emphasizes a developmental and intentional approach to preparing students, as they find and foster their passion and purpose, and are better prepared to launch their aspirations upon graduation.

• Integrated experiences. This platform of Augustana 2020 highlights the integrative approach to learning at Augustana that breaks the artificial divide between what was traditionally labeled as the curriculum, the co-curriculum, and extra-curricular activities. We recognize that learning in college occurs both in the classroom and outside, in academic activities and in co-curricular activities. The ACEF grant supports Augustana's dedication to combining curricular and co-curricular experiences, to reimagine the relationship between academic and co- and extra-curricular activities to more effectively prepare students for post-graduate success and leading a meaningful life of leadership and purpose. It emphasizes taking what's learned in the classroom, combining it with co-curricular experiences, and applying these skills in unique ways to make a positive impact in society.

What learning outcomes of Augustana College does the ACEF support?

While an ACEF Grant could potentially support any of the nine Augustana learning outcomes, most grants primarily will involve the following three outcomes:

• Understand. Demonstrate an extended knowledge of at least one specific discipline and its interdisciplinary connections to the liberal arts, reflected in the ability to address issues or challenges and contribute to the field.

• Communicate. Read and listen carefully, and express ideas through written or spoken means in a manner most appropriate and effective to the audience and context.

• Wonder. Cultivate a life-long engagement in intellectual growth, take responsibility for learning, and exhibit intellectual honesty.

How does ACEF support a liberal arts education?

When students have an idea to solve a problem, address an issue, or answer a question with a product or service, they often rely on a broad set of skills and knowledge derived from the curricular and co-curricular experiences available to them, which are hallmark of a liberal arts education. The funding of the pursuit of an entrepreneurial idea directly strengthens the philosophy of a liberal arts education and the integrated learning experience it embodies.