Phase One: Knowledge Economy - Creative Enterprises Fronde Baliste supported projects fall into the category of "creative class" investments.
Spelman WRC Special Endowment WRC is an institution within an institution with a well documented history of effective social activism and an excellent research reputation.The Center's reputation for excellence created a unique opportunity to pursue an endowment initiative that is separate from the Spelman general fund.Although the short term focus is on the WRC Endowment, the intent is to leverage Spelman’s reputation as a leading HBCU to demonstrate the repeatability of this model.This is feasible given the role of HBCU’s as anchors in communities uniquely suited to benefit from a local micro-innovation model. This approach creates a local micro-innovation emphasis for a segment of the Special Endowment's portfolio. The goal is to encourage experimentation and innovation in development of social enterprises in the area immediately surrounding the Spelman campus.This is a "creative cluster" strategy; leveraging the research of the center and its partners, moving the endowment toward self-sustainability, and reinvigorating the role of the university in community development as an "Engaged Institution.”
Fronde Baliste - translation - Catapult2
The term Fronde is most often associated with "revolt of the judges," and French feminist Durand. Its use here is with respect to the simpler meaning, to "sling" or accelerate motion in a given direction. Similarly, baliste translates to catapult. Together they signify targeted, rapid, high impact; an excellent metaphor describing what Fronde Baliste investment strategy is designed to achieve.
Fronde will find and fund, small, innovative local enterprise, with a goal of accelerating economic development in underserved markets.
" we will foster diverse creative and imaginative economies.. ....vibrant places... ...that allow our businesses and workers the best opportunities to innovate and succeed..." President Barack Obama, Conference of Mayors, February 2009