On November 10, the Entrepreneur Fund and six fellow Northland nonprofit organizations were honored by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation during its Touchstone Celebration, which aired on WDIO.
The 28th annual celebration highlighted important nonprofit work that demonstrates the Foundation’s values of generosity, inclusivity and building healthy communities.
The Entrepreneur Fund was recognized for its work on actively partnering with Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs to support starting and growing businesses in our region, particularly through its Stride program.
The program offers opportunities for both startup and existing businesses. Entrepreneurs of color gain insight from peers and an advisory board, build their network of support, have access to grants and 0% interest loans, and receive one-on-one advising.
“It’s been really cool to come alongside them and give some guidance and help in business planning, and figuring out finances,” said lead Stride business advisor Stephanie Williams. “I want to see more Black and brown businesses around town.”
So far this year, the Entrepreneur Fund has actively partnered with 162 BIPOC entrepreneurs in our region, of which 27 entrepreneurs have participated in the Stride program. As of November 15, over $4 million in lending has gone to 145 BIPOC-owned businesses of various industries in our region.
Funding from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation helped support the effort to launch the Stride program. The Stride program is also funded in part by Wells Fargo, Otto Bremer Trust, SBA Prime, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation and the Blandin Foundation.
Congratulations to the other nonprofits honored in the 2022 Touchstone Celebration:
- Men as Peacemakers for its Making Equal Genders Awesome program
- Native Governance Center and tribal leaders in Grand Portage
- Green New Deal Housing focused on sustainable building practices
- Duluth Art Institute inspires youth to take action through art
- Outside the Box spark creativity, curiosity in kids
- Well Being Development in Ely helps people in recovery