Bradley Receives Competitive Grant to Benefit Local Business and Business Curriculum

October 6, 2021

The U.S. Department of Education is awarding Bradley University a Business and International Education (BIE) grant of $85,500 for the university's Turner Center for Entrepreneurship. Just over 20 of these highly competitive grants were given in the U.S., and only three were awarded in Illinois. Bradley received the highest amount of funding in the state.

The BIE program provides funding to institutions of higher education to help local businesses compete in the global arena and to enhance their business curricula. This grant program includes an extensive process that evaluates the qualifications of the organization's team members, the quality in the design of a project and the effective use of resources in accomplishing the project's goals.

Bradley’s Southeast Asia (SEA) Change project captured the BIE program's attention. Through training and education, this project creates more opportunities for U.S. trade with the growing economies of Southeast Asia. For Central Illinois businesses, these efforts will culminate in a trade mission to the Southeast Asia region to meet potential partners and customers. Bradley faculty and students will have opportunities to pursue research, intercultural collaborations, study abroad programs and internships in the region. An additional $91,000 is expected to be awarded in year two of the project.

“We are excited Bradley University was awarded this prestigious grant,” said SEA Change project manager, Jim Ryan. “This is going to give all of the colleges across campus an opportunity to impact the careers of our students and directly contribute to the international success of local businesses.”

Local elected leaders also shared their excitement for Bradley receiving this grant:

  • U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos, 17th District - I’m thrilled to see Bradley University earn its spot in this competitive grant program and receive federal funding to support the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship. This funding is an opportunity to expand educational opportunities for Bradley’s students and cultivate business relationships between our community and international partners.”
  • U.S. Representative Darin Lahood, 18th District - I applaud Bradley University and the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship for their exceptional work to prepare the next generation of business leaders in Central Illinois and to ensure our companies remain internationally competitive. This important federal grant funding will support their work to grow trade and expand student research and intercultural collaboration programs. In Congress, I will continue to work to support business and educational opportunities at Bradley and across my district.”

Partners that will be collaborating on the SEA Change project with Bradley include the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment, the Peoria Area World Affairs Council and the U.S. Commercial Service.