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SMIF announces $100,000 in grants available

Fri, Jan 24th, 2014
Posted in All Business Announcements

As part of its effort to invest in economic growth within the region, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in Incentive Grants to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations or units/agencies of local, state, or federal government. Grants up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in early childhood and entrepreneur development areas. Applications for this grant round are due February 15, 2014, with awards announced in April.

“We want to focus on very specific early childhood and entrepreneur development issues that we believe are critical to the long-term economic vitality of our region,” notes Tim Penny, President/CEO. “These Incentive Grants are designed to support projects that involve collaboration and achieve sustainable, measurable results.”

SMIF is looking for grant applications that encourage new asset-based approaches on issues within our focus areas.

SMIF’s Focus Areas

Early Childhood Development

Strengthen children’s social and emotional health and school readiness

Entrepreneur Development

Strengthen and grow the local business community

Ten Incentive Grants totaling $134,917 were awarded by SMIF in the past year. Examples include a grant $8,700 to Ridgeway Community School to develop the capacity of Ridgeway-area families, childcare providers, and preschool program educators to better help preschool-aged children develop social and emotional and early literacy skills to successfully make the transition to area all-day kindergarten programs and a $20,000 grant to Red Wing Ignite to open a business incubator to attract seven to ten early-stage technology businesses.

The SMIF online application can be found at under “Applications.” For more information email Jennifer Heien, Grants Associate, at; orcall 507-455-3215.

About Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation:

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in 20 Minnesota counties. The Foundation has provided more than $47 million in grants and loans within the region during the past 28 years. SMIF’s key interests include early childhood and entrepreneur development. To learn more about our work and mission call 507-455-3215 or visit

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