The Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI) is a result of the continuing efforts of the former Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. We partner with the Institute for the Study of Political Economy on select events and programs, but both institutes operate independently of each other. The ELI is funded through the generosity of the Menard Family and the Charles Koch Foundation.

The Menard Family

The Menard Family owns and operates Menards Home Centers, a family-owned company started in 1958. Menards® is headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and has more than 300 home improvement stores located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Today, Menards® is known throughout the home improvement industry as the low price leader; it's no wonder their famous slogan “Save BIG Money!”® is so widely known and easy to remember.

First and foremost, Menards® has always been committed to providing high-quality guest service. Whether it is through helping Guests design and/or calculate projects with their Design-It Center and Project Calculator programs, helping with an order, answering questions about merchandise or how to do a project, their service to Guests is number one. Menards® strength and success can also be seen in the well-stocked and maintained stores, the lowest prices in town, and the way Guests are always treated like family in a local, hometown hardware store atmosphere.

The Charles Koch Foundation

The Charles Koch Foundation believes everyone has the ability to learn, contribute, and succeed if they have the freedom and opportunity to do so. That’s why, more than 50 years ago, Charles G. Koch began supporting education. The Charles Koch Foundation, founded in 1980, continues this work by funding research and education that helps people expand their horizons, develop their skills, and help others.

Since 2011, the Charles Koch Foundation has provided grants to enable thousands of individuals to gain valuable hands-on experience at 501(c)(3) organizations, complementing the Charles Koch Institute’s classroom instruction.

Today, the Charles Koch Foundation continues to provide grants or stipends to enable individuals to gain similar experiences through the Koch Associate Program, Koch Internship Program, and the Media and Journalism Fellowship.

The Charles Koch Foundation believes that the most pressing issues facing society today are too big for any one group to solve, and that’s why we’re proud to be a part of the Stand Together Philanthropic Community. Stand Together helps people improve their lives by connecting them with passionate partners and the resources necessary to make a greater difference.

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Interested in helping grow our program offerings? We welcome you to make a gift or contact us to learn more.

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