Our mission is to actively partner with entrepreneurs to create growing businesses, thriving communities, and a diverse regional economy. Key to achieving this mission is ensuring those who are often under-resourced and left out of mainstream finance have a place to access capital, grow businesses and build wealth. We understand our role and opportunity in supporting economic justice and inclusion and make this central to our work.
Rural-based businesses, BIPOC-owned firms, and women-owned businesses are our primary focal areas for this work. We target small business outcomes to these people and places and we prioritize tailored strategies and resources for each in partnership with other committed partners.
By nature, entrepreneurs are an innovative and hard-working group and we work closely with hundreds each year. Then, there are the entrepreneurial leaders who are not only passionate about their business, they also understand the big picture and dedicate themselves to strengthening their communities to be more healthy and vibrant. The women leaders of Harvest Nation are just that; local entrepreneurial leaders who are in the process of developing an indoor, aeroponic farm on the Iron Range to provide their neighbors with healthy, affordable farm-to-table foods.
Relationship building is a foundational element of our work and this is no different when working to improve access to capital and services for communities frequently left behind such as BIPOC owned businesses, women owned businesses, and rural businesses. We continually work to improve and grow our organization and the resources we have available to make this work possible.
We were excited to work with ChaQuana McIntyre, a social entrepreneur with a passion for driving entrepreneurship within the African-American community. Together, we provided a business accelerator program specifically for AfricanAmerican entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneur Fund was a capital partner and loan provider for this cohort. As our work evolves, we will specifically look to grow the mentor/mentee connections to emerging African-American entrepreneurs in the region.
“We have worked on building a culturally specific curriculum, so that people who I am training, and educating can see themselves in the stories about becoming a business owner.” – Chaquana McEntyre, Minnesota Minority Small Business Champion 2020