Nominations open for grant opportunities for northern Wisconsin businesses

Entrepreneur Fund

September 12, 2023

Entrepreneur Fund client and business owner Kelly Shaggy, owner of EduTechTrek in Ashland, Wisconsin.

We are proud to introduce our Wisconsin Rural Equity Grant Program. As part of the Entrepreneur Fund’s commitment to northern Wisconsin businesses, we are awarding 30-40 grants of up to $10,000 each through 2024 to businesses in the now 12 northern Wisconsin counties we serve.

Designed to assist small businesses in northern Wisconsin, particularly those that are underbanked and have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin Rural Equity Grant Program is open to established, diverse owned businesses for a wide range of business uses. The first round of nominations are open to businesses located in western Wisconsin counties and all Wisconsin Native nations in our service region. Nominate an eligible Wisconsin business here.

In addition to the grant program, Wisconsin entrepreneurs can benefit from loans such as the SBA Microloan, SBA 7(a), and USDA loans, with amounts ranging from $1,000 to $750,000. Wisconsin business owners are eligible for reduced interest rates on loans through 2024 for up to $6 million in total lending.

“In collaboration with our new and current partners, we are working to foster a network where businesses in northern Wisconsin can advance both innovation and opportunity with new resources,” said Shawn Wellnitz, Entrepreneur Fund CEO and President. “Together, we are creating a supportive community that recognizes the individual requirements of each entrepreneur, steering them towards success in today’s business landscape.”

Our team is also expanding our growth-focused programming, such as the Be Strategic courses, designed to assist businesses in strategic planning and expansion. Three courses are being offered this fall in Ashland, Hayward and Spooner. Apply for a Be Strategic class near you.

The expansion of our services into northern Wisconsin is fueled by $8 million in Diverse Business Assistance and Diverse Business Investment grants from the state of Wisconsin. The funding is aimed at assisting small business owners who’ve experienced barriers to capital and who’ve been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about our expanded services and grant opportunities in northern Wisconsin, check out our Wisconsin page or reach out to a member of our Wisconsin team.

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