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Stride

Grow your business alongside a group of Entrepreneurs of Color.

Gain insights, networks, accountability and individualized support to grow your small business and confidence as an entrepreneur. The Stride program offers opportunities for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs to access grants, 0% interest loans and one-on-one advising to strategically launch or grow your business.

Two track options

START-UP: New to Business

Designed for those with entrepreneurial aspirations to support the launch of your business.

  • Connect with fellow aspiring entrepreneurs of color
  • Create a business plan
  • Develop cashflow projections
  • Get feedback from peers and successful entrepreneurs from across the region
  • Access up to $5,000 in grant support and 0% interest loans

LEVEL-UP: Existing Business

Designed for those with entrepreneurial aspirations to support the launch of your business.

  • Connect with fellow aspiring entrepreneurs of color
  • Develop a strategic plan
  • Develop cashflow projections
  • Get feedback from peers and successful entrepreneurs from across the region
  • Access up to $7,000 in grant support and 0% interest loans

How it works

Participants in each track will access the following resources and support:

Intro Course: All program participants complete an introductory 3-session course is designed to build connection with a cohort of fellow entrepreneurs and get clear on business vision and goals.

Customized Business Roadmap: Upon completion of the course, entrepreneurs continue to work with a business advisor to design a customized business roadmap to reach their business goals.

Expert Network: Participants will have access to the EF Expert Network, which is made up of small businesses professionals across the region who are skilled in marketing, human resources, website development, accounting, and much more.

Stride Advisors: When participants are ready with a drafted business or strategic plan, they will present their plan to the Stride Advisory Committee, made up of successful BIPOC entrepreneurs and leaders in our region. Advisory committee members will provide feedback, support and connections to each participant.

“The grants and access to no interest capital combined with courses and access to expertise is a great jumping off point for those who are ready to start or expand their business.”

– Stephanie Williams, lead Stride business advisor

Interested in joining the Stride Program?

To qualify you have:

  • A willingness to learn and do the work
  • A desire to hear constructive feedback
  • Ambition to be the best business owner you can be
  • An address located within EF’s region

“What I would love to see in the next five to 10 years is a real surge in businesses that serve the population of color that this area should want to try to attract. It will make us easier for us to be here, thrive here, raise families here. And so I would love to see this program, create a community of businesses that that allow that to happen.”

-Lanie Dixon, Vice President of Patient Experience at Essentia Health and Stride Advisory Committee

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