Coaching for minority business owners through Prosperity Initiative

The Prosperity Initiative

The Prosperity Initiative promotes inclusive entrepreneurship and business growth for entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), and underserved individuals. The program offers multiple entry points for entrepreneurs depending on the stage of their business development. The Prosperity Initiative provides regular education, coaching and business resources to minority business owners in SMIF’s region for up to one year.

After completing the application, please fill out our company overview survey to help us determine your needs.


How to Start

Entrepreneurs at any stage in their business planning process are encouraged to apply. Those who are in the ideation phase (Stage 1) will start the process by participating in CO.STARTERS, a cohort-based opportunity that equips entrepreneurs with the fundamental tools to turn business ideas into action. Topics will range from the development of a business plan to how to pitch your business to investors. SMIF partners with Collider to provide this unique offering. This part of the program lasts for eight to ten weeks.

How to Grow

Entrepreneurs that complete CO.STARTERS, or those who already have an established business plan (Stage 2), will then meet regularly with a business strategist to set intentional goals to scale growth. A personalized plan of action will be developed, and entrepreneurs will be trained on a variety of advanced business skills including QuickBooks management, marketing and financial planning. This part of the program will last for six to nine months.

We will work with applicants to ensure that they enter the Prosperity Initiative at a point that makes sense for their business. Prosperity Initiative clients will be engaged with the program for up to one year, depending on the starting stage of their business.

When to Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, however, to join a cohort of entrepreneurs, applications must be submitted by March 20, 2023 for an April 11, 2023 start date. A second cohort will open for applications in late August. While business coaching is offered for free for those with established business plans, there are a limited number of free seats available for the CO.STARTERS portion of the program. We encourage interest individuals to apply early and we will work with them to determine the best time to join the program.


Kara Sorensen, Business Program Specialist

Phone: 507-214-7025

Our Partners

The Prosperity Initiative is supported, in part, by State of Minnesota through a grant from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Partners serving on the advisory committee include Community Economic Development Associates (CEDA)Region Nine Development CommissionMerchants Bank – WinonaMinnesota Council of Churches – Tapestry Project and Otto Media Group.

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