Initiators Fellowship

16 Finalists Emerge for 2022-2023 Initiators Fellowship

Sixteen social entrepreneurs have been chosen from a pool of 85 applicants to move to the next stage of the 2022-2023 Initiators Fellowship selection process. The finalists represent 53 counties and six sovereign tribal nations in Central, Northwest, Southwest and West Central Minnesota.

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, eight Fellows—two from each participating Minnesota Initiative Foundation region—will be selected for the 2022-2023 cohort. The Fellows will receive an annual $30,000 stipend during the two-year program, which also includes comprehensive programming, executive-level mentoring and leadership training, ongoing education and support from dedicated staff members to advance their mission-driven business or nonprofit endeavor.

“We were blown away by the many folks doing important social enterprise work throughout Greater Minnesota,” said Brian Voerding, Initiative Foundation vice president of inclusive entrepreneurship. “We had a tough job narrowing the pool, and we look forward to finalist day when we can meet the finalists and learn even more about their work.”

The Initiators Fellowship originated with the Little Falls-based Initiative Foundation in 2017 to help aspiring social entrepreneurs fast-track their ideas, grow their social and professional networks and further develop their business and community leadership skills. The first cohort of four Fellows graduated in December 2019. In December, seven Fellows will graduate from the 2020-2021 cohort.

The 2022-2023 finalists represent a diverse range of interests—from an entrepreneur with a goal to increase immigrant home ownership to an artist-in-residence program for rural communities to a social justice champion with a health and wellness business.

Watch a video to meet the finalists.