Economic Development

Supporting Entrepreneurial Activity

SMIF works to catalyze entrepreneurial activity within the region and has played a strong role in growing local business by supporting entrepreneurship. We have provided early-stage investments, traditional loans, micro loans, technical assistance, mentoring and regional leadership to achieve our vision of creating economic prosperity and community vitality.

Southern Minnesota has a rich heritage of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the private sector. We believe this region’s future, like the past, will be built by people who have this entrepreneurial spirit combined with the skills and commitment that go with it.

SMIF offers a range of services and financial options to empower new and growing business owners. 

Learn about our loan funds and equity funds.

The FEAST! Local Foods Network is a partnership of many organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to growing a sustainable, local and regional food system which encourages innovation. By providing resources and technical assistance to food and farming entrepreneurs, we hope to see current businesses flourish and new businesses get established. 

FEAST! Spotlight: Grandma’s Gourmets

Contact Pam Bishop, Vice President of Economic Development, at pamb@smifoundation.org or 507-214-7013 for more information.

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The Economic Impact Grant Program enables us to foster new ideas and initiatives which spark new businesses and increase economies to be more prosperous. We believe communities which invest in their people will grow a sustainable economy.

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The Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program is about finding and igniting existing entrepreneurs in communities. By adopting a “grow your own” approach to entrepreneur development, the REV model helps community grow from within. 

Contact Pam Bishop, Vice President of Economic Development, at pamb@smifoundation.org or 507-214-7013 for more information.

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The South Central Minnesota SCORE Chapter is housed at SMIF. SCORE is a volunteer organization that provides one-on-one business experience and expertise to aspiring or existing business owners. We currently offer SCORE in the following counties: Blue Earth, Faribault, Freeborn, Nicollet, Rice, Steele, and Waseca.

Contact Marcia Haley, SBA Lending Director, at marciah@smifoundation.org or 507-214-7021 for more information.

The Prosperity Initiative promotes inclusive entrepreneurship and minority-owned business growth in southern Minnesota. The program provides regular education, coaching, and business resources to minority and new immigrant business owners in SMIF’s region.

Prosperity Initiative spotlight: West Oakland Auto

Contact Pam Bishop, Vice President of Economic Development, at pamb@smifoundation.org or 507-214-7013 for more information.

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