Six Band members graduate from Enterprise Academy
January 11, 2021
Through a new pilot partnership between Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures (MLCV) and the Initiative Foundation, six Mille Lacs Band members were able to participate and graduate from the Enterprise Academy this fall in Brainerd. The Initiative Foundation's Enterprise Academy is based on the Entrepreneur Development Model, a program of the St. Paul-based Neighborhood Development Center. Participants in the Enterprise Academy learn from business experts and create their own individual business plan.
Classes were held via Zoom once per week for 12 weeks and featured training specifically tailored to the entrepreneur, with one-on-one assistance offered to help create a realistic business plan. There have been seven Enterprise Academy cohorts completed so far in the region. The fall 2020 Brainerd cohort was the 7th cohort. MLCV is currently recruiting participants for the spring 2021 Mille Lacs Tribal Economy cohort slated to begin in late February.
The Mille Lacs Band members - Carolyn Beaulieu, Gina Benson, Billie Boyd, Bradley E. Harrington, Ginger Weyaus, Suzanne Wise - were among 16 applicants who applied to the competitive program. In order to secure their seats, applicants had to complete a panel interview and demonstrate their commitment to creating a business. Since many applicants applied, only the most prepared, engaged, and committed people were selected.