SMIF Announces $100,000 in Available Grants

southern-mn-initiative-foundation2As part of its effort to invest in economic growth within the region, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in incentive grants.  Grants up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in emerging business and workforce areas. Pre-applications for this round of grants are due March 2, 2009 with awards announced May 29, 2009.

Tim Penny, President/CEO notes: “This year, we plan to support more community-based collaboration in the areas of workforce readiness and economic development.”

SMIF is looking for grant applications that encourage new asset-based approaches within our areas of interest (noted below). This approach focuses on existing strengths and assets including people, associations, and institutions, and recognizes the diversity of the region while building on the unique characteristics of each community. We are especially interested in funding new initiatives.

1:  Engaged Elders
Community-based projects that provide opportunities for older citizens to engage in paid employment or volunteerism related to SMIF’s other business and workforce interest areas (noted below).

2:  New Immigrants
Community-based projects that capitalize on the asset of new immigrants in the workplace.

3:  Experiential Career Education
Community-based projects that provide opportunities for non-college bound students to succeed in the workplace.

4:  Entrepreneurship
Community-based projects that support the creation of entrepreneur-friendly communities.

5:  Biobusiness
Community-based projects that grow emerging bio medical and bio agricultural businesses including renewable energy.

To learn more about SMIF’s incentive grant program, please register for an informational meeting on Wednesday, January 28, 10 a.m. to noon. Call Jennifer Heien to register at 507-455-3215. Visit and click on “Events & RFPs” for more details, or contact Suzy Meneguzzo, Grants Director,

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