AEDC’s Prosperity IDA Scholarship was a business funding and education program for low to moderate income entrepreneurs in Humboldt County and in outlying areas including Del Norte, Mendocino and Siskiyou Counties.
From 2007-2016, over 100 business owners opened an Independent Development Account (IDA) savings account, where they save money to purchase a business asset and are matched $2 or $3 for every $1 saved. Two separate programs allowed the program to run in Humboldt County and in AEDC's outlying communities. At the end of the Humboldt County grant, 67 participants received $164,226 in matching grants. Combined with their savings nearly $229,000 was used for the purchase of new business assets. At the end of the outlying community grant, $152,722 was distributed in matching fund grants. Combined with over $62,486 in savings, $215,208 was used to purchase new business assets. Together, the program helped businesses in our region acquire over $440.000 in business assets.
Funding from this program over the years has provided by Wells Fargo, Umpqua Bank, US Bank, the McLean Foundation, Jefferson Economic Development Institute and from the Department of Health and Human Services Assets for Independence grant program.