Congratulations to Corner to Corner, Recipient of the Stewarding Influence Grant

The Nashville Institute for Faith and Work (NIFW) has awarded its $5,000 Stewarding Influence Grant to Corner to Corner. Using a mantra of “Connect, Invest, Grow,” Corner to Corner exists to extend hope to communities in Nashville who encounter a cycle of despair often caused by high-rates of incarceration. In particular, Corner to Corner is teaching entrepreneurial skills, and this grant is expected to generate $500,000 of annual economic impact into Nashville’s most underserved neighborhoods.  


Modeled after the concepts presented by Andy Crouch at NIFW’s “Stewarding Influence” forum on October 4, the grant was offered to an organization, group or individual with a project that uses authority and vulnerability to promote flourishing for all people across Nashville and beyond. At the forum held at Clementine in West Nashville, Crouch encouraged over 300 guests to examine their spheres of influence and challenged them to use authority and vulnerability (taking meaningful risk) to increase flourishing for others. The event concluded with the launch of the grant competition.

If you missed the forum, read all about the powerful evening here.


Corner to Corner is a faith-based, community led, and community driven nonprofit teaching entrepreneurship in underserved neighborhoods. The organization has had over 100 entrepreneurs graduate from The Academy using the Co-Starters “Urban” curriculum, of which they are the only licensed entity in Nashville to do so.

“Corner to Corner is led by influencers in the communities it serves and through that, one life is able to impact another with meaningful new businesses as an outcome,” said Missy Wallace, Executive Director of NIFW. “Since its inception, Corner to Corner has graduated 104 entrepreneurs on various stages of launching or growing their small business and over 80% are still in business within one year of graduation. What a privilege to partner with an organization which is helping underserved individuals experience flourishing through the joy of innovation and work.”  

Corner to Corner will use the $5,000 grant towards extending the Co-Starters curriculum to three new cohorts, training another 45 “underestimated” community members to start their own business.  Based on their past success, this will lead to over $500,000 of economic development poured back into some of Nashville's most impoverished neighborhoods.

Will Acuff, Executive Director of Corner to Corner, said, “We are so excited to be partnering with NIFW, taking steps to ensure that underestimated entrepreneurs have on-ramps to opportunities across the city. We believe that every neighbor in the city with the God-given passion, creativity, and drive should have the opportunity to turn their business-dream into a money-making reality.”

Watch this video to hear more from Corner to Corner about how they plan to use their $5,000 grant.

To learn more about Corner to Corner, please visit

The institute is thrilled to extend the concepts from our Stewarding Influence forum on October 4 through this competition. We received 14 submissions, forcing the committee to choose between many truly amazing organizations and groups. We had a rigorous grooming process with a committee who narrowed it down to four finalists.

Click on the name of the other finalists to hear more about their initiatives: