Feature Image: Noris Cuisine Food Truck, Prosperity Initiative graduate

Free business coaching available for minority-owned businesses


OWATONNA, Minn., February 7, 2019 – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), in partnership with Region Nine Development Commission and Faribault Diversity Coalition, is recruiting minority-owned business leaders for a new cohort of its Prosperity Initiative.

According to the US Census Bureau, 29% of Minnesota’s population in 2040 will be people of color, an increase from only 4% in 1980. In response to this rapid growth, the Prosperity Initiative was designed to provide education and business resources to minority business owners and educate resource partners on the barriers and opportunities these individuals encounter.

SMIF is seeking 15 businesses to participate in a 2019 Prosperity Initiative cohort. The program provides directed, culturally sensitive programing, while also creating a unified and coordinated resource structure, informing partners of best practices and creating opportunities for minority populations to network and access the business community. All resources are free for participating businesses. Eligible participants include minorities, women, veterans, persons with disabilities and/or low-income business owners in SMIF’s 20-county region.

The Prosperity Initiative is made possible by generous funding from CliftonLarsonAllen Foundation, Krahmer Law Firm, PLC (Fred W. Krahmer and Michelle Krahmer), McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Wells Fargo.

Since 2016, the Prosperity Initiative program has provided 48 clients with one-on-one business coaching.

Apply online at www.smifoundation.org/prosperity by March 13, 2019. Contact Pam Bishop, Vice President of Economic Development at SMIF, at pamb@smifoundation.org or 507-214-7013 with questions.

About Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in the 20 counties of south central and southeastern Minnesota. The Foundation has provided more than $111 million in grants, loans and programming within the region during the past 32 years. SMIF’s key interests include early childhood, community and economic development. To learn more about our work and mission, visit www.smifoundation.org.

Media Contact:

Katie Godfrey
Communications Coordinator