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Monday, January 10, 2011

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Offers $100K In Business Grants

There is some great news for small businesses in the state of Minnesota! The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in incentive grants to help promote economic growth within the region. Cash grants of up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in emerging business and workforce areas.

SMIF wants applicants that are working on projects that will accomplish the following in the area of workforce: Engage new immigrants in the workforce to maximize the potential of their diverse assets, engage older workers to capitalize on their assets in the workforce, and increase career exploration opportunities for high school students through training and mentorship.

They are also looking for projects that will accomplish the following in the area of economic development and education: Help communities create entrepreneur success to support prosperity, grow bio-business and renewable energy to increase regional economic vitality, and strengthen opportunities for young children to thrive through early childhood development and education.

Established in 1986, SMIF has provided nearly $21 million in grants to create economic vitality throughout Minnesota. Last year alone, the foundation gave over $240,000 to 15 different organizations/collaborations. Previous grant recipients includ Northfield’s ‘Agripreneur’ Training project, which received $20,000 to help Hispanic gardeners build strong businesses. Another project they supported with a $20,000 grant was Region Nine’s Renewable Energy Inventory to compile renewable energy inventories and help grow bio-business.

For more details or to apply for the grants, visit www.smifoundation.org/applications.php or contact Jennifer Heien at jenniferh@smifoundation.org or (507) 455-3215.
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