City, partners offering support for entrepreneurs, small businesses

The City of Minneapolis is partnering with six non-profit business consulting organizations to provide professional one-on-one business coaching and training classes on business planning, improving operations, financial management and other topics to Minneapolis businesses and entrepreneurs. Services are either free or at reduced rates.

Technical assistance can be helpful to businesses at any stage – from start-ups to existing businesses. For example, when Simba Craftware, a gift shop located at Midtown Global Market, was struggling a few years ago, the business owner turned to Midtown Global Market staff for help. Mr. Akinseye received one-on-one business coaching to learn new strategies for better merchandising, product displays and marketing efforts. After implementing these strategies in the store and launching a top notch website, Mr. Akinseye reported an increase in sales of 349 percent over the previous year.

Businesses and entrepreneurs interested in receiving technical assistance can obtain services through the City-funded programming at these organizations:

African Development Center (for more information, businesses and entrepreneurs should contact Hussein Samatar at (612) 877-8269 or hsamatar@adcminnesota.org): One-on-one business technical assistance, seminars and business planning workshops.

Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD) (for more information, businesses and entrepreneurs should contact Iric Nathanson at (612) 789-7337, ext.14 or inathanson@mccdmn.org):MCCD, along with African Economic Development Solutions, Build Wealth MN, Latino Economic Development Center, Redesign, Inc., and Women Venture: One-on-one technical assistance and a variety of group trainings and classes.

Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) (for more information, businesses and entrepreneurs should contact Jan Jordet at (612) 259-6566 or jjordet@meda.net): One-on-one technical assistance, courses and workshops in contractor training, entrepreneur training, technical assistance and financial literacy.

Neighborhood Development Center (for more information, businesses and entrepreneurs should contact Brian Singer at (651) 291-2480 or bsinger@ndc-mn.org): Offers support for 90 entrepreneurs through its 11-session Entrepreneur Training Class and one-on-one technical assistance to existing small business owners in Minneapolis.

Northside Economic Opportunity Network (for more information, businesses and entrepreneurs should contactGrover Jones at (612) 302-1501 or grover@neon-mn.org), along with Build Wealth MN, Emerge, MCCD, MEDA, MN Black Chamber of Commerce, NDC, Pro Bid, West Broadway Coalition, and Women Venture: Offer, to northside businesses, technical assistance, courses and workshops in contractor training; entrepreneur training; financial assistance; financial literacy;  location assistance to businesses locating or expanding.

University of Minnesota Office for Business and Community Economic Development (for more information, businesses and entrepreneurs should contact Jeff Seltz (612) 624-3578): Assist existing business owners through its Growth Accelerator Program, targeted to minority and women-owned businesses with high potential for growth.

A Request for Proposals from non-profit business consulting organizations was issued in March 2012. Funding up to $200,000 will be used to target small businesses categorized as “microenterprises” that are owned or established by low and moderate income individuals and employ five or fewer employees.

Published Sep 10, 2012