Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

The Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) Initiative works with UM students and faculty to build actionable partnerships with Mississippi communities. These partnerships will increase entrepreneurship and promote economic development in rural Mississippi communities. The CEED Initiative is funded with generous support from the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation.

Innovation Scholars

  • Each year ten undergraduate students will be named Grisham-McLean Institute Innovation Scholars. These will be exemplary undergraduate students with an interest in entrepreneurship and economic development in Mississippi’s rural communities. Each student will work with high school students in local communities to identify and improve compelling business ideas and to implement business plans. Students will lead programs like the Grisham-McLean Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, an Annual Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum, and a campus-wide Virtual Reality Lab. Scholars are awarded a $4,000 scholarship for one year, with additional stipends available for fieldwork and internships.

Innovation Fellows

  • The Grisham-McLean Institute will sponsor three graduate student Innovation Fellows each year. Fellows are exemplary students with innovative ideas for addressing poverty-related problems in Mississippi as graduate assistants affiliated with the McLean Institute. Graduate students will assist Dr. JR Love, project manager, in leading the programmatic work in the partner communities and they will assist with staffing the Virtual Reality Lab. Fellows will receive $20,000 each year to cover in-state tuition, health insurance, and a living stipend. Fellows receive additional stipends for research/planning within their project area.


Meet Former CEED Cohorts

Meet the 2018-2020 cohort here. 

Meet the 2016-2018 cohort here.

Meet the 2015-2017 cohort here.

Meet the 2014-2016 cohort here.


CEED in statewide and regional news:

Institutions of Higher Learning (Jackson, MS)

Federal Reserve Bank (St. Louis, MO)


UM Communications:

February 2021. 2021 Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum Set for April 13-14.

February 2021: Small Business Development Center Puts Interns to Work.

October 2020. Famed Mississippi Author to Deliver Talk on Black Wall Street.

February 2019. An Explorer at Heart, International Student Blazes Unique Path.

January 2019. High School Students Learn Entrepreneurial Skills at Conference

December 2018. Fifth Annual Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum Set For March 8.  

October 2018. Famed Mississippi Author to Share Inspiring Message with UM Students. 

October 2018. McLean Institute Expands Summer Entrepreneurial Leadership Program.

October 2018. McLean Institute Grant Award to Fund Community Engagement. 

March 2018. McLean Institute, MDA Entrepreneur Center Set Spring Webinar Series. 

March 2018. McLean Institute Teams with Newton Schools for Virtual Reality Project.