Entrepreneur Fund Awarded $770,000 for Area Business Owners

October 31, 2018

Duluth, Minnesota –October 31, 2018: The Entrepreneur Fund was recognized by the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) recently with a grant. The $770,000 CDFI grant will be used to provide financing to local entrepreneurs seeking growth.

“We are excited to have loan capital to meet the growing needs of our region’s small businesses,” said Shawn Wellnitz, CEO of the Entrepreneur Fund. “Our lending team went above and beyond this year, exceeding our goals for lending and growth. We look forward to another year of helping drive entrepreneurial growth in the region.” This CDFI grant will leverage private sources at a rate of one grant dollar bringing at least seven dollars from private sources.  

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), like the Entrepreneur Fund, are mission-driven financial institutions that fill gaps by providing access to capital by offering affordable financial products and services that meet the unique needs of economically underserved communities.

The CDFI Fund has awarded $165 million in Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance in 2018 to 264 organizations in 45 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In recent years, the lack of access to capital investments for small businesses and other critical community development projects has also led to an increased need for alternative and reliable sources of financing. The CDFI Program invests in and builds the capacity of CDFIs to serve low-income people and communities lacking adequate access to affordable financial products and services.

“The FY 2018 CDFI Program and NACA Program (Native American CDFI Assistance Program) awardees will provide vital financial services and lending to low-income communities nationwide,” said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan. “The awards will also benefit Native Communities, areas of persistent poverty, and individuals with disabilities.”

With this additional CDFI Fund support, the Entrepreneur Fund will continue to drive economic growth and diversity in their 11-county service area with entrepreneur-focused programming and increased funding for regional business owners.

View more information about the FY 2018 CDFI Program and NACA Program awardees at https://www.cdfifund.gov.

About The Entrepreneur Fund

The Entrepreneur Fund is the resource for entrepreneurs in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The Entrepreneur Fund has fueled more than 14,000 businesses with expert support and funded over $41 million in loans since 1989. The Entrepreneur Fund is dedicated to strengthening entrepreneurship in the region, while also supporting and increasing economic development. Through this strategic approach, the Entrepreneur Fund promotes the entrepreneurial spirit and helps create economic wealth and diversity in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.EntrepreneurFund.org.

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