WBD Investment Leads to Creation of a Local Small Business Investor Network

Entrepreneur Fund

November 8, 2022

The Entrepreneur Fund and WBD are partnering to create a small business investor network that will accelerate region’s ability to provide meaningful support to our region’s entrepreneurs.

“With a regional focus on small business, economic development, and a largely rural service area – the value of having a forward-looking, innovative, and flexible partnership with WBD has enabled the Entrepreneur Fund to explore new opportunities and leverage significant additional funding to advance economic and community development through small business,” said Shawn Wellnitz, Entrepreneur Fund CEO/President.

The $100,000 investment into the Entrepreneur Fund will enable the implementation of an innovative program aimed to support the acceleration of small businesses owners who have the desire and aptitude to grow their business. It will also support cultivating a local investor base and strategically connecting outside investors to grow-oriented or succession-oriented business owners.

“The Entrepreneur Fund is a tremendous resource for businesses in Northern WI, Duluth and the Minnesota Iron Range. This effort to create a business accelerator program and an investor network to help small businesses take the next step is exciting and a tremendous benefit for their respective communities,” explained Dan Schneider, WBD President/CEO.

WBD, Inc. is a nonprofit company that helps businesses access long-term, fixed-rate commercial financing with less money down.  Partnering with a local bank on every project, WBD provides financing to hundreds of businesses each year across Wisconsin and 14 counties in Minnesota (largely the twin cities metro area and Duluth).  With a portfolio of nearly $1 Billion, WBD is able to reinvest in other economic development activities each year.  In 2022 WBD’s investments in these activities was nearly $400,000.

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