DEED Awards Funding to Nonprofit Lenders that Help Emerging Entrepreneurs

Twenty-six organizations receive $3.1 million for loan program


St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded grants totaling $3.1 million to 26 nonprofit lending partners across the state that provide business loans through DEED’s Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program (ELP).

ELP supports the growth of businesses owned and operated by people who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities. The program helps ensure that business owners from populations who’ve historically faced barriers to accessing capital are able to get funds to start and grow their business.

“Now more than ever, the Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program is a great platform to empower the growth of small businesses that might not otherwise have access to capital,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Our economic recovery must create jobs in communities hardest hit by the pandemic, and that’s exactly what these entrepreneurs will do.”

The 26 organizations that have been awarded funding are located across the state, and have experience helping entrepreneurs in their communities. These awards represent the initial allocation of funds; lenders with a proven record of successful ELP lending and outreach performance who exhaust their initial funding may request additional funding.

The Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program awards can be used by eligible businesses to finance a variety of start-up and expansion costs. Find more information about the ELP here.

The following organizations (with their primary service areas) were awarded funding:

• African Development Center, Minneapolis (Statewide) – $150,000

• African Economic Development Solutions, St. Paul (Twin Cities) – $100,000

• Central Minnesota Development Company (CMDC), Andover (Statewide) – $100,000

• Community and Economic Development Associates, Chatfield (Southeast) – $100,000

• Entrepreneur Fund, Duluth (Northeast/Central) – $150,000

• First Children’s Finance, Minneapolis (Statewide) – $150,000

• Greater Bemidji, Inc., Bemidji (Northwest) – $75,000

• Headwaters Regional Finance Corporation, Bemidji (Northwest) – $75,000

• Initiative Foundation, Little Falls (Central) – $150,000

• Latino Economic Development Center, St. Paul (Statewide) – $150,000

• Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Minneapolis (Twin Cities) – $150,000

• Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), Minneapolis (Twin Cities) – $150,000

• Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corp., Detroit Lakes (Statewide) – $75,000

• Neighborhood Development Center, St. Paul (Twin Cities) – $175,000

New American Development Center, Minneapolis (Twin Cities) – $75,000

NextStage, Bloomington (Twin Cities) – $75,000

North Central Economic Development Association, Staples (Central) – $75,000

Northland Foundation, Duluth (Northeast) – $150,000

Northside Economic Opportunity Network, Minneapolis (Twin Cities) – $150,000

Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Bemidji (Northwest) -- $150,000

Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc., Rochester (Southeast) – $100,000

Seward Redesign, Minneapolis (Twin Cities) – $100,000

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Owatonna (Southeast) – $100,000

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Hutchinson (Southwest) – $150,000

WomenVenture, Minneapolis (Twin Cities) – $150,000

Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp., Worthington (Southwest) – $75,000

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow us on Twitter.


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