Enterprise Academy

What You Will Learn

Enterprise Academy is the single-largest early-stage entrepreneur training program in Central Minnesota. At the heart of the program is a 12-week business course that provides training and individualized advising to help underserved entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses. The expertly taught classes lead students through basic business principles and helps them start—and ultimately finish—a business plan. Graduates receive ongoing technical support and can also apply for market-rate microloans through the Initiative Foundation.

Entrepreneur Training

Aspiring entrepreneurs learn from business experts as they create their own individual business plan. Classes are once per week for 12 weeks and feature instruction in basic business principles and assistance in creating a business plan.

Business Services & Support

Expert consultants provide one-on-one business support services in areas such as recordkeeping, accounting, marketing and branding, web development, social media marketing and legal aspects of business. These services are available to qualifying existing businesses for a reduced fee.

Small Business Lending

The Enterprise Academy is supported by a lending program and provides access to microloans for businesses owners who may not be able to access traditional sources of capital, including culturally tailored lending. Direct loans are available for up to $50,000 for successful graduates of our Enterprise Academy program or to our business services and technical assistance clients who create a realistic business plan. Enterprise Academy borrowers may also gain access to larger loans through our traditional gap lending program, which requires a lead lender such as a bank or credit union.

Enriching Outcomes Include …

  • Providing unique goods and services to the local economy
  • Revitalization of communities and vacant properties
  • Developing and lifting up community role models
  • Strengthening local economies
  • Broadening participation in the American dream.

Learn How You Can Apply

Interested in applying for a future Enterprise Academy cohort? Complete our Enterprise Academy Interest Form and we’ll contact you when a new cohort is being planned. Cohorts generally are offered starting in March and September in St. Cloud, Long Prairie and Onamia (fall cohort only).


Business Training Opportunities

Rural Business Success Series: Next-Stage Business Growth

In partnership with the North Central Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Next-Stage Business Growth workshop is tailored for entrepreneurs ready to…

Subject
Business
Location
Brainerd
Start Date
September 12, 2024

Rural Business Success Series: Next-Stage Business Growth

In partnership with the North Central Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Next-Stage Business Growth workshop is tailored for entrepreneurs ready to…

Subject
Business
Location
Little Falls
Start Date
September 12, 2024

Rural Business Success Series: Legacy Planning

In partnership with the North Central Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the legacy planning workshop is designed for small business owners who…

Subject
Business
Location
Brainerd
Start Date
September 20, 2024

Rural Business Success Series: Legacy Planning

In partnership with the North Central Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the legacy planning workshop is designed for small business owners who are interested…

Subject
Business
Location
Little Falls
Start Date
September 20, 2024

Rural Business Success Series: Legacy Planning

In partnership with the North Central Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the legacy planning workshop is designed for small business owners who are interested…

Subject
Business
Location
Lindstrom
Start Date
October 3, 2024

Learn More About Other Business Services

Have a question or need help completing an application? Contact a member of our team. We’ll get you the support you need!

News

Twenty-one Graduate From St. Cloud Enterprise Academy Class

Entrepreneurs’ business-building ambitions include a media company, auto body business and athletics academy The Initiative Foundation is celebrating the graduation of 21 new entrepreneurs who… Read More

2024 Emerging Entrepreneur Showcase & Awards

The Initiative Foundation invites the public to the 2024 Emerging Entrepreneur Showcase & Awards from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, at The… Read More

14 Graduate From Long Prairie Enterprise Academy Class

The Initiative Foundation is celebrating the graduation of 14 new entrepreneurs who are dedicated to building their homegrown business ideas in the Long Prairie area. Read More

More in Enterprise Academy

IQ Magazine Stories

Elevating Entrepreneurs

Meet the winners of the Initiative Foundation’s inaugural Emerging Entrepreneur Showcase & Awards event. Read More

Partners on a Journey

Enterprise Academy graduates use connections, knowledge to advance Central Minnesota businesses. Read More

Homegrown Goodness

Search begins for 2024-2025 class of Initiators Fellowship social entrepreneurs. Read More

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