The strength and stability of a community comes from the recognition and inclusion of its diversity. The Diverse Interests Round Table provides an open-minded environment that allows for the sharing of triumphs and failures, challenges and opportunities, best practices and necessary changes. By connecting with, learning from and doing business with one another, we can change the dynamics of our economy and grow together.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 29% of Minnesota’s population in 2040 will be people of color, an increase from only 4% in 1980. In response to this rapid growth, The Prosperity Initiative was designed as a Southern Minnesota Initiative (SMIF) pilot project to provide education and business resources to minority business owners and educate resource partners on the barriers and opportunities these individuals encounter.
Phase one of the program involved a survey of existing minority-owned businesses, which found that 91% of businesses surveyed would benefit from additional resources to help their company grow and develop. 85% of the respondents were interested in attending conferences, trainings and mentorships to gain business knowledge and network with others. The main barriers identified through the survey were: 1) lack of access to capital and alternative financing options; 2) lack of, or poor credit history; 3) lack of community support and resources; and 4) cultural and language barriers.
To address these findings and continue strengthening and coordinating resources available throughout the region, The Prosperity Initiative provides training, mentorships, networking, conferences, business financing, partnership opportunities and connection to area resources. Attend the Diverse Interests Round Table to learn more about the program and get an update on the first six businesses that went through the Initiative’s training/mentoring program.
The Chamber welcomes you to get involved in our monthly round tables and find the ones that best suit you and your business’ needs. Visit our event calendar for more information on these upcoming events and to register. All round tables are free and are exclusive for Chamber members only. The schedule of round table events can be found on the Chamber’s event calendar - http://business.rochestermnchamber.com/events/calendar/
Members of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce are welcome to attend. In addition, prospective members are invited to attend twice before setting up a meeting to discuss whether Chamber membership is right for their organization.
Members of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce are welcome to attend, in addition Prospective Members are invited to attend twice before setting up a meeting to discuss whether Chamber Membership is right for their organization.