We partner with mission based funders and investors that are dedicated to supporting and growing small businesses across our region. We seek to…
Partner with Small Business Owners to Achieve Their Goals.
Increase Access and Reducing Barriers to Entrepreneurship.
Drive Local Prosperity.
Bolster Economic Growth & Diversity.
You invest in us. We invest in entrepreneurs.
We are a mission-based lender.
We leverage funds to have a multiplying effect on your donation.
Our work wouldn’t be possible without the support of foundations and government funders. The philanthropic capital and grants our partners make allow us to build innovative solutions that create vibrant, prosperous communities for all. Entrepreneurs in every corner of our 17-county region benefit from our shared mission, strategic partnership and synergy around supporting and prioritizing small business.
We partner with financial institutions, including local, regional and national banks, to channel more capital into economically challenged communities, helping them achieve their community development goals and promote economic prosperity.
As a CDFI, we partner with financial institutions that are working hard to have a positive impact in their local communities. The two common ways we partner with banks are (1) referrals to and from and (2) funding to EF to support our work in under-resourced communities such as business owners with low to moderate incomes, women, BIPOC owners, and others.
U.S. Small Business Administration
Bank of America
Opportunity Finance Network
U.S. Department of Agriculture
National Bank of Commerce
Midwest MN CDC
City of Duluth + DEDA
Otto Bremer Trust
Great River Energy
St. Louis County
City of Cloquet EDA
BMO Harris Bank
Wisconsin Business Development Corporation
North Shore Bank of Commerce
Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
Members Cooperative Credit Union
Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation
MN Dept of Agriculture
Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
Federal Home Loan Bank
Security State Bank of Hibbing
COGGS (Cyclists of the Gitchee Gumee Shores)
Nelson Wood Shims
Katrina Lynn Consulting
JMR Financial Group
Rural Living Environments
be.Media House and The Lake and Company
John & Julie Foucault
Pascha & Abbot Apter
Stan Tull & Pat Campanaro