Encouraging America’s entrepreneurs

After creating a billion-dollar industry that established the cat as the nation’s most popular pet, Ed Lowe set his creative sights on nurturing other entrepreneurs. This included a number of investments and activities, such as:

  • Speaking at universities, colleges and national associations to promote the importance of America’s entrepreneurs.
  • Creating an Entrepreneurs Learning Service (ELS) to provide entrepreneurs with quick answers to practical questions.
  • Establishing an entrepreneur’s boot camp at Big Rock Valley Farm (BRV). Under the direction of the American Academy of Entrepreneurs, this initiative provided counseling and curriculum to reinforce the chances of entrepreneurial success. (In 1991 Ed donated his estate at BRV to serve as headquarters for the Edward Lowe Foundation.)
  • Hosting a series of discussion groups to give small businesses a voice in national economic-development policy. Held in select Midwestern cities, these forums were known as the Free Enterprise Briefings.
  • Intern program at BRV

    On the corporate front, Ed sold his majority interest in Edward Lowe Industries in 1990. He retained, however, his stock in Granulation Technology Inc. and the patent for processing paper sludge into pellets, recognizing there was a limited supply of clay for the cat-box-filler but no apparent limit to the supply of paper sludge. He also purchased Wasser Glass in 1991. This firm, which produced a line of glass tiles with unusual color and depth, won an American Society of Designers Award in 1994.

    Ed Lowe died on Oct. 4, 1995. His legacy includes a passion for entrepreneurship and recognition of its role in a robust U.S. economy, as well as a commitment to land stewardship to ensure future generations can continue to use and enjoy our land.

    Grateful for his success and inspired to give back to the community, Ed Lowe decided to apply the profits from his various businesses to a cause he cared about greatly — entrepreneurship. In 1985 he and Darlene established the Edward Lowe Foundation to provide information, recognition and educational experiences for entrepreneurs, which was headquartered at Big Rock Valley Farms, a 3,000-acre property northeast of Cassopolis, MI.

    Fast Facts