Championing entrepreneurship and land stewardship

Edward Lowe Foundation HQ

Dan Wyant, President and Chief Operating Officer

The Edward Lowe Foundation was established by Ed and Darlene Lowe in 1985. In contrast to most U.S. foundations, which are grant-giving entities, we are an operating foundation that funds its own programs.

Entrepreneurship

The foundation’s  entrepreneurship initiatives are focused on second-stage companies — growth-oriented firms that have moved beyond  startup but haven’t yet reached maturity. Our peer learning, leadership education and strategic information programs are geared to help these companies continue growing. We also educate communities about the challenges second-stagers face and how to work with them.

To scale our impact, the foundation delivers its programs to second-stagers through other entrepreneur support organizations, which includes chambers of commerce, small business development centers, technology councils and economic development agencies. Although many programs are conducted on our partners’ turf, such as PeerSpectives CEO roundtables and Economic Gardening, we host leader retreats and facilitator training at Big Rock Valley (BRV), our headquarters in southwest Michigan.

Land stewardship

BRV is also integral in our land stewardship initiatives. A 2,000-acre property comprised of woodlands, wetlands and prairies, BRV’s diverse habitats support a wide variety of species, many of which are endangered or threatened. To preserve BRV’s biodiversity, the foundation leverages a number of innovative land management practices. In addition, we allow researchers to use the property for studies that can expand the knowledge base of conservation science.

Edward Lowe
1920 – 1995
Founder of the Edward Lowe Foundation.  Learn more

Programs in motion

Leadership

In second stage, company founders are trying to shift from being entrepreneurs to leaders. This is no easy task, because leadership is about influencing the behavior of others.

Economic Gardening

A real game-changer, Economic Gardening gives growth-oriented companies access to research experts who deliver strategic information to overcome obstacles and identify new opportunities.

PeerSpectives®

A unique CEO roundtable system designed especially for leaders of second-stage companies, PeerSpectives® enhances leadership abilities and improves decision-making. These roundtables, which typically involve eight to 12 business executives, provide a confidential forum where participants can share challenges and experiences.

Retreats

Retreats at the Edward Lowe Foundation enable second-stage entrepreneurs to step away from daily distractions and focus instead on future growth. These programs address everything from building a management team and developing strategy to creating a strong company culture. Curriculum is geared to push participants out of their comfort zone.

Land Stewardship

In addition to entrepreneurship, the foundation also has a mission of land stewardship, which plays out at Big Rock Valley (BRV), our headquarters in southwest Michigan. Comprised of 2,000 acres of woodland, wetland and prairie, BRV’s diverse habitats support a wide variety of flora and fauna, including many species that are endangered or threatened.

Heritage

The foundation began in 1985, but our roots trace back to founder Ed Lowe, who in 1947 introduced Kitty Litter, the country’s first cat-box-filler. Ed distinguished himself in a number of ways, from his marketing prowess and R&D initiatives at Edward Lowe Industries to his efforts to increase recognition for U.S. entrepreneurs.

A closer look at...

Land stewardship

In addition to its focus on entrepreneurship, the foundation is committed to environmental conservation and maintaining the diverse native species found at Big Rock Valley.
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Heritage management

The foundation preserves its heritage through a variety of tools and resources, including websites, multimedia productions, exhibits, publications and its archival collection.
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