St. Cloud organizations receive DEED Small Business Partnership Grants

Two area organizations received state funding to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Small Business Partnership Grants were awarded to non-profits and public entities for them to help small businesses and entrepreneurs with business development and technical assistance, according to a press release from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The Initiative Foundation in Little Falls received $200,000 and St Cloud State University Small Business Development Center received $120,000.

“The purpose of this grant is to support the start-up, growth and success of Minnesota’s entrepreneurs and small business owners through the delivery of high quality free or low-cost professional business development and technical assistance services,” the release said. More than half the funding was given to organizations and projects focused on reaching Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs and business owners.

More:Amazon’s new St. Cloud facility has opened, begun package delivery

There were 37 organizations who received grants. The most awarded was $600,000, and the least $73,114.

Initiative Foundation hires entrepreneurship programs officer

Donniel Robinson

The Initiative Foundation has a new team member working to expand the organization’s ability to support entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.

According to a press release from the organization, the Initiative Foundation has hired Donniel Robinson as entrepreneurship programs officer.

In the release, Robinson said the Initiative Foundation is examining potential for expanded programming for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.

“Donniel’s roots in the region, her work with small businesses and nonprofits, and her personal experience as an entrepreneur all bring incredible expertise and lived experience to the Foundation,” Vice President Brian Voerding said in the release. “We’re excited for all the entrepreneurs we serve to benefit from the directions her vision and passion take our programs and services.”

Christin Hakim

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