Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Investment fund to promote foreign-born entrepreneurs in Cleveland

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A local investment center is sweetening Northeast Ohio's efforts to become more global.

The Cleveland International Fund is launching a new initiative, with hopes of raising $2 million over 12 months for foreign-born entrepreneurs.

The year-old center, which focuses on matching wealthy overseas investors with local projects, will kick-start this new - and unusual - fund by putting $200,000 of its profits into grants, no-interest loans and low-interest loans for emerging companies.

Set to debut in June, the Cleveland International Entrepreneurs Fund will seek money from foundations and the business community - and eventually could compete for state grants. It will have an independent board, tasked with evaluating applications from businesses and awarding grants and loans of $25,000 to $50,000. And the fund will take no equity stake in the companies it supports.

JumpStart Inc., a nonprofit that invests in companies, offers services to entrepreneurs and provides free management for half a dozen investment outfits in Northeast Ohio, will administer the fund and help vet deals.

If proponents meet their money-raising goals, the fund could assist anywhere from 40 to 80 businesses within its first year.

"The vision is to create a fund that would be specifically tailored to foreign-born talent, entrepreneurs who want to start their business and get their idea off the ground," said A. Eddy Zai, chief executive officer of the Cleveland International Fund. "The goal is to get them to start their business here in Northeast Ohio."

This strategy, which Zai bills as way to create local jobs, dovetails with broader efforts to make Cleveland a more global city.

On Tuesday, civic and business leaders announced plans to open an international welcome center on Public Square. A former international banker is renovating a building at East 40th Street and St. Clair Avenue as an incubator for companies with global ties. Next month, Mayor Frank Jackson will host a two-day Global Cleveland summit.

Nearly 50 percent of all companies that receive venture capital - money from investors who take equity in early-stage businesses with high growth potential - have a foreign-born founder or co-founder, according to the National Venture Capital Association.

Many studies indicate that immigrants start businesses at a high rate, though data from the U.S. Small Business Administration shows that native-born and foreign-born entrepreneurs had similar rates of self-employment from 2000 through 2009.

"We know, certainly, of demand for low-tech, medium-tech, high-tech companies, market demand that's not being met now," said Ray Leach, chief executive at JumpStart. "We think this fund will bring a lot more foreign-born entrepreneurs out of the woodwork that we didn't even know about."

Keep reading HERE.

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