Ismail Mohamed, Enterprise Academy program officer
Ismail Mohamed will lead the Initiative Foundation's Enterprise Academy program.

Mohamed Joins Foundation as Enterprise Academy Program Officer

LITTLE FALLS, MINN.–The Initiative Foundation announced today that Ismail Mohamed has joined the organization in the role of Enterprise Academy program officer. Mohamed is a longtime connector, having spent his career in employment and human services positions.

Since piloting the Enterprise Academy program in 2018, more than 100 students have completed the training program in which 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. Graduates receive ongoing technical assistance and other business services. Those with completed business plans become eligible for microloans.

Mohamed will lead the 12-week entrepreneur training classes serving St. Cloud and the Mille Lacs Tribal Economy. He also will oversee the potential expansion of the program into other Central Minnesota communities. Supported by community partnerships with Higher Works Collaborative and the Central Minnesota Community Empowerment Organization, the Foundation has led eight cohorts of the Enterprise Academy in St. Cloud. Two cohorts of entrepreneurs have graduated from the Enterprise Academy program in the Mille Lacs area in partnership with Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures. A Brainerd cohort was held in fall of 2020 in collaboration with the Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I look forward to helping entrepreneurs shape and develop their business ideas to fully- launched business in Central Minnesota,” says Mohamed, an entrepreneur whose background also includes working with small business owners in the St. Cloud area. “I am ready to help grow the Enterprise Academy and entrepreneurship programs to increase the number of small businesses in Central Minnesota.”

The Initiative Foundation’s inclusive entrepreneurship portfolio, led by Vice President Brian Voerding, includes the Initiators Fellowship, Enterprise Academy, gap lending, microlending programs and technical assistance provided by industry professionals.

“Mohamed has a long history of serving diverse communities and connecting people to resources, both in his personal and professional life,” Voerding said. “We are excited to have him on the team and look forward to the continued expansion of the Enterprise Academy program with his help.”

New St. Cloud and Mille Lacs Cohorts begin in February. Learn more about the upcoming cohorts.