Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) recently approved nine grants totaling $90,000 to support inclusive and equitable initiatives in SMIF’s 20-county region. The Inclusive and Equitable Communities Grant supports projects which grow racial diversity, equity and inclusion opportunities in the area of entrepreneurship for southern Minnesota.
The Inclusive and Equitable Communities Grant award recipients are:
•$10,000 to Austin Community Charitable Fund to offer a space for both established businesses and budding entrepreneurs to connect with mentors and peers in a multilingual environment.
•$10,000 to Collider Foundation in Rochester for business bootcamps to help women, immigrant, veteran and BIPOC entrepreneurs go from idea to action and create a sustainable business model.
•$10,000 to Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER) to empower Latine high school students in southern Minnesota by providing them with interactive workshops led by professionals in different areas of business.
•$10,000 to Northfield Health Community Initiative (HCI) for classes which will support adults interested in starting a business by building skills and networking with local business leaders.
•$10,000 to Rice County Neighbors United of Northfield for growing the Mercado Local, a community nonprofit of 20 immigrant vendors, by working with the emerging entrepreneurs to continue their business growth.
•$10,000 to Saint Peter Good Neighbor Diversity Council for entrepreneurial training programs for the increasing number of interested individuals in the Somali, African, African American, Hispanic, Asian and Indigenous communities in Saint Peter.
•$10,000 to Somali American Cultural Society of Owatonna for an adult education program which will provide instruction on the language skills that are necessary for running a business.
•$10,000 to Somali American Social Service Association in Rochester to leverage resources to train and teach local Somali entrepreneurs in order to propel them to the next level.
•$10,000 to YWCA of Mankato to empower female entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds by providing resources, teaching skills and preserving cultural traditions.
“These organizations are doing incredible work to make entrepreneurship more inclusive and equitable in southern Minnesota,” said Pam Bishop, vice president of entrepreneurship at SMIF. “We are proud to support these initiatives.”
For more information on SMIF’s grant programs, visit smifoundation.org/grants.
About Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation:
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in south central and southeastern Minnesota, serving a 20-county region which includes 175 communities and one native nation. The Foundation has provided more than $162 million in grants, loans and programming within the region during the past 38 years. SMIF’s key interests include entrepreneurship, early childhood development and community vitality. To learn more about our work and mission, visit www.smifoundation.org.