PNC contributes $25,000 to expand the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative, which seeks to impact budding entrepreneurs in New Jersey

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CUEED initiative helping entrepreneurs grow, create jobs & improve resources available to small businesses

PNC Bank presented a $25,000 check to The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers Business School on November 12 to expand the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI), which is helping 50 entrepreneurs grow their businesses through training, one-on-one counseling, networking opportunities and access to local financial resources.

“PNC Bank is one of the only community banks left and we take our responsibility seriously,” said William S. Demchak, Senior Vice Chairman of The PNC Financial Services Group. “With our commitment to CUEED and Rutgers, we view this as strengthening our ties to Newark and New Jersey.”

CUEED launched the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative in May 2009 to give 50 budding entrepreneurs the tools to broaden their businesses in northern New Jersey counties.

“The goal is for these entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level,” said Jeffrey Robinson, PhD, Assistant Professor Management and Global Business at Rutgers Business School. “Ultimately we believe this initiative will create jobs in New Jersey.”

The 50 entrepreneurs have been enthusiastic with the program. “This is exactly what I need right now to get my business going,” said Kermick Santos, who operates a Fun Bus in Essex county, which he described as a gym in a bus which is rented out for parties and events. “This is a job I do on the side, but I see the potential to make this my full-time deal and I need to learn how,” he said.

Ann Biddle, owner of Stories in Motion, a dance studio and boutique also believed her concept was close to taking off. “I started this idea to have parents and their children take dancing together and people love it,” she said. “I am looking forward to this program helping me execute the idea,” said Biddle.

Examples of the 50 types of businesses that are being supported include: consulting, restaurants, construction and retail.

The Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative is run by The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development at Rutgers Business School in partnership with The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Greater Newark Business Development Consortium, and Rutgers-Newark Small Business Development Center.

Counties being served by the project in the north Jersey region include: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Union, Sussex, and Warren. Funding was initiated by the North Jersey Partners of WIRED through a grant provided by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

PNC’s $25,000 commitment to the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative continues the bank’s long-standing partnership with Rutgers. “PNC has an established relationship with Rutgers that spans athletic sponsorships, economic development programs and, now, an investment in what will stand as the state’s leading business school,” said Linda Bowden, regional president for northern New Jersey, PNC Financial Services Group.

Rutgers Business School focuses on delivering the business, science, and technology credentials that global employers demand. With the direction of its world-class research centers like CUEED, Rutgers Business School maintains its standing as a premier business school with a deep commitment to contributing to economic development.


Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick is an integral part of one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most distinguished institutions of higher learning: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Today, Rutgers Business School is educating more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students at two main campuses in New Jersey as well as six satellite locations in New Jersey, China, and Singapore. Rutgers Business School is ranked #10 nationwide for “Most Competitive Students” by The Princeton Review; and is part of the campus that is ranked #1 in diversity nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, for 12 straight years. Full-time MBA and part-time MBA programs give excellent options for people looking to boost their careers.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; asset management and global fund services.

Media Contact: Daniel Stoll