LINCOLN COUNTY - There are lots of resources for entrepreneurs who want to start, expand, or diversify a business in southwest Minnesota, but accessing them can be a problem, especially if you don't know they are there.
So the Southwest Initiative Foundation's Economic Development team is bringing its expertise to Lincoln county in May.
SWIF and the Lincoln County Enterprise Development Corporation will host a breakfast in Tyler and a lunch in Hendricks on Wednesday, May 9, to introduce local entrepreneurs, and people interesting in becoming entrepreneurs to the services offered by SWI. A five-member team from SWIF will introduce attendees to the variety of services for business they offer.
"It's more than a meet-and-greet, it's telling them what we do," said Vince Robinson, facilitator with LCEDC.
Among the services offered by SWI are consulting and a variety of loan programs for small to medium-sized business.
After the meeting the first of three classes offered by the University of Minnesota Extension on using the Internet for business, "Doing Business Online," will be taught by Neil Linscheid, extension educator.
Two more classes will be offered at different locations around Lincoln County on consecutive Wednesdays: "Roadside Advertising in a Digital Age," and "Using Social Media" will be on May 16 and May 23.
"Doing Business Online" will introduce participants to options for creating websites for a business with or without a professional web designer. "Roadside Advertising" shows how to promote your business via GPS units and digital maps, and
"Using Social Media" introduces the basics of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for business.
All classes are being made available through a grant from the Blandin Foundation.
"If there is enough interest there is the potential to run more classes," said Christin Berger, program manager with LCEDC.
According to Robinson the goal is to familiarize people with broadband and the benefits to business, and to demystify the use of social media.
"The message of all these classes is you don't have to have a website, but you do have to have a web presence," said Jackie Turner-Lovsness, program specialist with SWIF. "After class Neil, and Christin will be available for one-on-one consulting."
Anyone interested in participating in the Business Blitz or the classes should contact the Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation at 507-694-1306.