The only change you can count on is that things are changing faster than ever.
The Entrepreneur Fund was founded in 1989 toward the end of the economic recession of the 1980s. Initially, the Entrepreneur Fund focused on helping dislocated workers start businesses as a means of creating their own jobs. Today, the Entrepreneur Fund is a national leader in entrepreneurial development and business financing, serving a broad range of entrepreneurs.
The Entrepreneur Fund has helped start, stabilize or expand more than 1,300 businesses; helped create or retain more than 3,500 jobs; provided over 450 loans totaling $15 million; and served over 11,000 people through its training, consulting and lending programs. More than 85% of business owners who receive assistance are still in business two years later. From offices in Virginia, Grand Rapids, Duluth and Superior, the Entrepreneur Fund serves 11 counties covering a 30,000-square-mile area.
The Greenstone Group, an innovative initiative launched by the Entrepreneur Fund in 2008, seeks to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and develop entrepreneurial talent. Working with business, education and economic development partners, Greenstone Group expects to target support and resources toward 500 entrepreneurs in the region through 2018. Entrepreneurs with existing companies, meeting in peer groups or individually with a Business Performance Coach, are committing to develop and continuously improve their entrepreneurial skills, and develop and implement a plan for business growth.
The Entrepreneur Fund is a certified Community Development Financial Institution. In 2004, we were designated an SBA Women’s Business Center. We have been an SBA Microlender since 1992 and a member of Opportunity Finance Network since 1995. In 2010, the Entrepreneur Fund was designated a non-bank SBA 7a lender.
In 1999, the Entrepreneur Fund received a Presidential Microenterprise Award for Excellence in Developing Entrepreneurial Skills. While sponsored and presented by President Clinton, industry peers and leaders judged the prestigious award.