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Grand Rapids, Mich. (March 12, 2008) - The Acton Institute has been awarded a $100,000 grant as a result of a competitive review process by the Social Equity Venture Fund ( The funds will go towards persuading Americans and other Westerners of the need for free enterprise solutions for alleviating poverty conditions in the developing world.

The central focus of this effort will result in an Acton documentary that will look at development in post-conflict economies such as Rwanda and other nations. The funding will be beneficial in the effort of conducting original research on this issue, and delving deeper into the complexities of what has been successful and fallen short in relation to economic growth in developing nations. The Acton Institute joined a selective group by winning this award. The other groups selected for the award include Cornell University’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, Harvard University and Innovations for Poverty Action, and the International Food Policy Research Institute.

The Social Equity Venture Fund is a Virtual non-profit entity led by entrepreneurs Michael Fairbanks and Andreas Widmer whose strategy is to markedly increase the rate of diffusion of enterprise – based solutions to poverty.

“The winners are inspired innovators who are breaking new ground that will help shape the dialogue around wealth creation," said Michael Fairbanks, co-founder of the S.E.V.E.N Fund. This competition and gift was made available through a generous gift from the John Templeton Foundation.

About the Acton Institute

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at