1989 – The Entrepreneur Fund is founded to support economic growth on the Iron Range. At inception, classroom training, consulting and loans up to $25,000 were provided to individuals seeks to start a new business.
1992 – Designated a SBA Microlender
1998 – Designated a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Treasury Department
2010 – Designated a non-bank SBA 7a lender and Aeris rated. Aeris is a third-party rating on mission impact and financial health that is available to outside investors.
2013 – New loan products and lending partners were added, lending limits were increased to $250,000 and operational capacity was increased to further ensure that small businesses had the capital they needed to grow.
2018 – Added an additional SBA Women’s Business Center, serving Central MN. Increased lending limits to $750,000.
2020 – During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, EF stepped up and played a large role in providing emergency loans and services to clients across our region. The year also saw exponential growth in lending, with over $20 million in loans closed, one-quarter of all lending since 1989.