FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has selected the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) as one of two Community Navigator Pilot Program hubs in Indiana. This will give NIIC and five area organizations funding to “power their work for this program.”

The SBA said it conducted an in-depth review to ensure compliance, objectivity and integrity to make sure every applicant had the opportunity to demonstrate the impact the funding would have on their communities. NIIC was one of 51 hubs selected. It will receive a $1 million award over two years to fund the collaborative work with spoke organizations.

“We are honored to lead this important work as the hub, convening our parter spoke organization to extend the support for women entrepreneurs, minorities, and those located in rural communities. We appreciate the SBA’s continued support to power innovation and business builders in our region,” said Ted A. Baker, NIIC interim president and CEO.

The NIIC has partnered with five organizations, also known as spoke organizations, for this program: Allen County Public Library, Bankable, Fort Wayne Urban League, Purdue University Extension Community Development, and Region 3a Development and Regional Planning Commission.

Baker says that roughly half of the funds will be going to the community partners and the other half will be going to the NIIC.

The program officially begins Dec. 1.

For more information on NIIC, visit the organization’s website. For more information on SBA, visit the administration’s website.