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Benedict College Receives a $525,000 Grant From the U.S. Department of Commerce as part of the “Build To Scale” Program

$47 Million Given to Support 51 Grant Recipients to Fuel Innovation and

Tech-Based Economic Development

Columbia, SC, October 10, 2022 –  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced recently that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding 51 “Build to Scale” grants – totaling $47 million – to organizations that support technology entrepreneurs, catalyze innovation and fuel economic growth. Benedict College received $525,000 to help organize, launch, and operate a state-wide investment accelerator program for underrepresented and minority persons who are in the early stages of entrepreneurship in South Carolina.

“This is a huge accomplishment for Dean Dunn and her team,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College. “We are primed to contribute to South Carolina’s innovation ecosystem in a powerful way. Benedict looks forward to working with our partners across the state who are supporting this project including the South Carolina Department of Commerce, South Carolina Research Authority, and HI Mark Capital.”

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“Benedict College and the Burroughs School of Business & Entrepreneurship have a long history of economic development in the Midlands,” said, Dr. Tracy Dunn, Dean of the Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship. “This EDA Build to Scale Grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce is significant because it allows us to expand the reach of our work to envelop the state, and more importantly, it includes a pathway for our women and minority early-stage companies in South Carolina to secure capital to grow their businesses.”

“Strengthening technology ecosystems are a critical key to the Biden Administration’s efforts to build a stronger America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Innovation and entrepreneurship have long been keys to American success and will continue to strengthen our collective economic and national security, as well as individual prosperity and well-being.”

“EDA is proud to partner with this year’s ‘Build to Scale’ grantees as they invest in entrepreneurs and create equitable access to capital in their communities,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “These projects will give the next generation of industry-leading companies a seminal boost that will result in job creation and private investment – potentially transforming a regional economy and creating economic opportunity beyond what we can foresee.”

EDA’s “Build to Scale” program provides annual grants that aim to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to entrepreneurial support and startup capital. The 2022 awardees will leverage an additional $48 million in matching funds from a variety of private and public sector sources. These EDA investments support advanced manufacturing, bioscience, clean energy and blue economy clusters in regions throughout the United States.

The 2022 Build to Scale program was comprised of two competitions––the Venture Challenge and the Capital Challenge. The Venture Challenge supports programs that enable high-growth technology entrepreneurship and foster inclusive access to proven entrepreneurship support models. The Capital Challenge increases access to capital in communities where risk capital is in short supply by providing operational support for early-stage investment funds, networks, and training programs that focus on both traditional and hybrid equity-based financing.



EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship administers the Build to Scale program , which is authorized under Section 27 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980.: Joi


About Benedict College (

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution, offering 26 competitive baccalaureate degree programs. The Midlands HBCU welcomes students from all 46 counties in South Carolina, 30 states across America, and 26 countries around the world. 

Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. The College also has a diverse faculty and importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty. 

There are over 18,000 proud Benedict Tigers throughout the nation. Benedict College has been a community leader for over 150 years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region. Contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact, a Benedict graduate working full-time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree. 

The College made front-page news in the spring of 2018 when it became the first South Carolina college to lower its tuition by 26 percent. Cutting tuition drew praise from the Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina’s education oversight body. The commissioner noted that the move Benedict College made should be applauded because it offers families affordability and students greater access to higher education. 

Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications.  For example, Benedict College was ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for creating social mobility and producing cutting-edge scholarship and research.  In 2019, Benedict College received the 2019 ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest

Benedict College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Six of the College’s degree programs hold national accreditation: The School of Education, Social Work Program, Environmental Health Science Program, Environmental Engineering Program, Studio Art Program, and the Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship. 

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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