SPEDCO Economic Development Foundation

The SPEDCO Economic Development Foundation was founded in 2006. Its mission is to promote economic development across SPEDCO’s service territory of Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

All activities of the SPEDCO Foundation support SPEDCO’s mission to promote economic development within the small business community and to create job growth. The Foundation primarily funds organizations that demonstrate a commitment to the creation of jobs. Recent grant recipients include:

Guided Business Plan program – a 19-session business planning course that guides clients through key topics a small business owner faces, from creating an executive summary for a business plan to issues regarding legal compliance, marketing, financials, human resources, real estate, operations and sales. Participants receive the software and training in QuickBooks. Upon completion of the course, clients will have a completed business plan.

Jeremiah Program received funds in an attempt to make a systemic change among persistently unemployed single parent women by offering housing, daycare, interviewing, coaching and higher education.

Catalyst Community Partners’ Kindred Kitchen food business incubator located in north Minneapolis received a grant to help provide access to affordable commercial kitchen facilities, certification training, product development expertise, and business technical services to low-income food entrepreneurs.

Dream Tracks, a program offered by Way to Grow, received funds for their 3-year competency program which enrolls young single Moms in intensive career workshops and individual coaching sessions to help them complete high school, gain effective parenting skills, find jobs and become economically independent.

Metropolitan Economic Development Association received funding for a specific program that helps provide guidance and accounting expertise to minority owned businesses. SPEDCO’s grant paid for both MEDA counseling time, as well as for accounting software for the entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship Training Program is set up for African American potential business owners to train in a 12week entrepreneurship training program.  The program will also provide follow-up training and technical support services to recent and former graduates of this training program.

International Institute of Minnesota received a grant for the Medical Careers Pathway program that helps new Americans enter and advance in the medical field. One component of this program is the Nursing Assistant Training program, which helps candidates become certified nursing assistants. Medical Careers Pathway is both a job training and job placement program.

Technical Assistance program – will provide up to 500 hours of counseling and technical assistance to help 40 low income entrepreneurs create, maintain and grow and/or turn around failing businesses in 2016. These businesses are expected to eventually create up to 200 new jobs.

Bricklayer Career Pathway Pilot Program is to develop a program model and training curriculum that successfully prepares low-skilled, unemployed or underemployed workers to attain good jobs with family-supporting wages in this in-demand career pathway. The initial program will train 15 individuals.

Property Maintenance Training program  enrolls participants in an 8-week program involving property maintenance training, including 16 hours per week of a paid internship and 24 hours per week of classroom training. The goal of the program is for graduates to be employed in the property management field, at starting wages between $14 – $19/hour.

Small Business Clinic is putting adults to work by creating clusters of self-employment, and development of and support of a Spring Job Fair to showcase job opportunities in the Walker, Hackensack, Akeley area.

Go Service, a credentialed hospitality training program, provides low-income adults with a 10-week, 90-hour training program training focused on the service industry, including hotels, call centers, business front office and administration centers, and medical facilities/information centers. Go Service instructors provide job placement assistance and all participants meet weekly with their coach to monitor progress and goals, as well as to identify needed support services.

NEON has been expanding economic opportunities in North Minneapolis through the creation, growth, and development of entrepreneurs and small businesses since 2006. They work strategically and collaboratively with ten network partner organizations to deliver small business feasibility assessments, entrepreneur training and outreach, and wide-ranging technical assistance and support. Since 2006, NEON has provided training and technical assistance to over 500 individuals and businesses, facilitated financing for 60+ businesses totaling over $2MM, and assisted more than 30 businesses to relocate or expand in North Minneapolis and throughout the metro area.

NDC works in the lowest income neighborhoods of the Twin Cities to empower aspiring entrepreneurs to start and grow their own businesses in order to rise from poverty, become self-sufficient, create jobs, and transform their neighborhood economies from within. NDC accomplishes this through four place-based, culturally-competent programs: 1) Entrepreneur Training, 2) Small Business Lending, 3) Technical Assistance, and 4) Business Incubators. These programs help to create visible entrepreneurship, local jobs, role models, wealth, and family and community gathering spaces.