Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Initiators Fellowship Program Expands to Northwest Minnesota


The Initiators Fellowship, launched by the Initiative Foundation in 2016, is expanding to include the Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) and social entrepreneurs in its 12-county service area and two native nations, Red Lake and White Earth.

Aligned with the Fellowship’s existing partners—including the Initiative Foundation, Southwest Initiative Foundation and West Central Initiative—the program for emerging social entrepreneurs will now be open to applicants from 53 Greater Minnesota counties and six native nations when the application for the 2022-2023 cohort opens on May 24. An eligibility quiz is now available here.

The expansion of the program is made possible by a host of local and statewide supporters, including an extraordinary additional $1.2 million stock donation from founding funder Granite Partners. Headquartered in St. Cloud, Granite Partners is a private investment and holding company with a mission to grow companies and create value for all stakeholders. Members of the Granite Partners team, including founder and Chief Executive Officer Rick Bauerly, a member of the Initiative Foundation’s Board of Trustees, have worked with the Foundation to develop the Initiators Fellowship since its inception and have generously provided initial and ongoing funding in excess of $4 million in stock donations held in the Initiators Fund that generates annual dividends to support the program.

“We are excited to bring this unique opportunity to Northwest Minnesota,” said Michael Neusser, vice president for operations at NMF. “We know our region has many social entrepreneurs working to make a difference in our communities, and this is just one more way that we’re able to support them in that mission.”

The expansion of the Initiators Fellowship is made possible by additional generous funders including the Bush Foundation and Sourcewell.


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