We help non-profits, public institutions, and government foster entrepreneurship through the design and implementation of programs that support existing entrepreneurs and stimulate entrepreneurial ecosystems. The Prosperity Fund is an initiative that is funded by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Our Services: Entrepreneurship

In the industrial economy, non-profits, public institutions, and government worked to position their region as a low-cost, attractive location for manufacturing and other industry operations. Return on industry recruitment investments have declined due to automation, foreign competition, and technological disruption. As a result, our clients seek strategies that help their region benefit from these changes and become more resilient. Entrepreneurship is an essential part of any strategy to build resiliency into your economy as entrepreneurs search for change and exploit it. While the importance of entrepreneurial activity is widely recognized, the results from many programs designed to stimulate entrepreneurship are mixed. Our clients count on Southern Research to design and implement award-winning programs that help provide their community with a steady supply of new ideas – the raw material of the new innovation economy.

What We Do

We help clients foster entrepreneurial activity in their organizations and communities. We develop region-specific strategies that build on unique assets and strengths. We support a diverse client base. Examples of our work include:

  • Helping define specific strategies for clients just getting started on the path to building an entrepreneurial culture in their organization or community. Our services in this area range from highly specific to broad program strategy development
  • Performing independent audits of existing programs and strategies for clients looking to get more out of their existing programs designed to increase entrepreneurial activity
  • Providing business consulting services directly to existing entrepreneurs or startups. This includes working with communities who may be facing an urgent economic challenge (e.g. job loss due to loss of large employer or decline of key industry)
  • Training and developing organizational leaders on the kinds of programs and strategies that work to create self-sustaining programs. These programs span the range of factors important to clients: policy, infrastructure, funding, culture, support system, R&D assets, education, workforce, and local markets

Our Impact

Recent examples of our work in this area include:

  • Development of The Prosperity Fund concept for four counties in Alabama, negatively impacted by the downturn in the coal industry. Southern Research developed the concept and is implementing the solution over a 3 year period. This award-winning program is built on strong collaboration with the communities the program serves.
  • Strategy development for a rural region of the U.S. who had low levels of entrepreneurial activity that had been steadily decreasing for more than a decade. We assessed the existing resources (universities, entrepreneurial resources, etc.) and developed a comprehensive plan for the region. This engagement included meeting with a wide range of stakeholders, detailed analytics to determine what was and was not working.

About The Prosperity Fund | Meet our Team

SR knows that many organizations and communities are looking to create the kind of economic growth that leads to jobs, diversification, and resiliency. But growth requires the right strategy, the right implementation team, and a total commitment to winning. Our clients count on SR to identify and pursue your biggest, most ambitious opportunities. We help you grow by charting a clear path and getting your project over the line.


Steven Puckett, Managing Director of The Prosperity Fund

Steven Puckett is responsible for advancing the fund’s strategic objectives of assisting business growth, stimulating start-up activity, and spurring job creation in Walker, Fayette, Tuscaloosa and Jefferson counties. Puckett connects with small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to develop a deeper understanding of their needs and challenges. He establishes ties with existing businesses, colleges and universities, economic development groups, potential investors, and community leaders throughout the region to harness available resources that can benefit the initiative’s participants.

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Corey A. Tyree, Founder of The Prosperity Fund

Corey Tyree created The Prosperity Fund to foster entrepreneurship in a four-county region in Alabama. Through his work with The Prosperity Fund and Southern Research, he is helping clients by taking a restless, entrepreneurial approach to improving regional economies.

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William J. Grieco, Co-Founder of The Prosperity Fund

Bill Grieco co-founded The Prosperity Fund. He has experience working for businesses in different sectors and of different scale. His work in the pharmaceutical, building materials, chemicals, and energy gives unique insight into many of the industries so important to the economy. While working in these sectors, Bill has served in diverse capacities ranging from technical expert, to director of corporate innovation and executive leadership. Bill has a strong biased to action and helps clients turn concepts into reality.

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