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MISSION — The Mission Economic Development Corporation and City Council unanimously approved creating Ruby Red Ventures, a $100,000 small business fund that aims to nurture entrepreneurial spirit and promote the creation of innovative business.

The idea is to encourage entrepreneurially oriented Rio Grande Valley residents to either expand or launch new ventures in Mission. Ruby Red Ventures would try to help people gain a better understanding of how to develop and follow a realistic business plan and provide forums so they can develop skills in presenting their ventures.

“Considering how difficult it is to borrow money today, we need to begin removing some barriers and making capital more accessible to fuel startup growth. If we don’t support our small business or aspiring entrepreneurs, who will?” said Alex Meade, Mission EDC CEO.

He said the state has done an excellent job with the Texas Emerging Technology fund, but it can’t fund all the projects.

“The EDC believes that in order to make the state more competitive, communities now need to create their own tools,” Meade said. “Throughout the state and country, entrepreneurs have access to startup accelerators, angel networks, and/or venture capital funds — so why not Ruby Red Ventures in the Rio Grande Valley?

“The Valley was founded by entrepreneurs and as economic development professionals and beneficiaries of their hard work, we, at Mission EDC, feel obligated to continue to foster that spirit.”

Ruby Red Ventures will consist of two rounds of funding per year at $50,000 per round and a maximum of $25,000 per company. Participants will be required to attend small business workshops to help them prepare sound business plans. The application period begins in early September 2012 with the first round of funding to occur in March 2013.

Fore more information contact the Mission EDC at (956) 585-0040.

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