Seed Award for Economic Opportunity

The Sprout Fund’s 2018 Seed Award for Economic Opportunity is mobilizing collaborative approaches to overcome barriers to economic vitality in Pittsburgh.

Despite recent gains, economic opportunity isn’t distributed equitably across Pittsburgh.

While the region earns national acclaim for innovation and livability, the inclusiveness of our region’s job growth lags far behind that of other American cities.

Through the generous support of the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, The Sprout Fund has mobilized 3 working groups to develop collaborative solutions that expand economic opportunity in the region.

After a community process and free regional event, 1 approach will be selected to receive catalytic funding for full-scale implementation.

Grant Funding Available


Application Deadline

January 26, 2018

Inclusive Innovation Week Event

April 4, 2018

Working Group Leads

Change Agency
Hazelwood Initiative
Prototype PGH

Working Groups


The City As Our Maker Space

Feminist maker activities in the Hill District, Wilkinsburg, and Allentown


Cooperative Opportunity Guild of Hazelwood

A cooperatively-owned economic resource center in Hazelwood


Workplace Equity Challenge

Employer-focused workshops to advance equity in the workplace


Pittsburgh Economic Opportunity Forum

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Energy Innovation Center, Hill District

This community event featured dynamic speakers and engaging activities exploring local efforts to increase economic opportunity in the Pittsburgh region.

Breakfast and free childcare were provided.

This event was part of the City of Pittsburgh’s 2018 Inclusive Innovation Week.

Process & Timeline

Call for Proposals

Sprout received 23 applications proposing collaborative activities among more than 90 local organizations.


Working Groups

3 finalists host working group meetings to refine their approaches and prepare for the Regional Forum.


Regional Forum

Public event on April 4 discusses economic opportunity and provides feedback on proposed approaches.


Catalytic Funding

$40,000 grant awarded to implement 1 refined collaborative project to expand economic opportunity in Pittsburgh.


Communities are better places to live, learn, and thrive because of the people and ideas supported by The Sprout Fund. Learn more at

The 2018 Seed Award for Economic Opportunity in made possible through the generous support of the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania.