Growing our own

With the loss of many big box stores, the retail sector continues to alter its impact on the Mankato region. Retail trade is slowing and now is exacerbated by the struggling farm economy. Since retail has been a major draw to our community – including medical and entertainment – we need to determine a Plan B to continue growing our economy.

One answer that is gaining steam among Economic Development Organizations is “growing our own” – that is, paying close attention to startups and emerging entrepreneurs.

Tim Krohn of the Free Press wrote about a program offered by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation that is gaining in popularity and helping bolster our emerging economies. These kinds of ventures could help our smaller rural communities who are looking to stem the tide of aging populations and shrinking businesses.

Take a read and let me know how you feel about this as an answer for our future.

2 thoughts on “Growing our own

  1. I agree that this is an important element in the mix. There is reliable national research to show that a lively startup ecosystem contributes to job growth and economic vitality.

    Some examples of where this is happening right now are:

    1Million Cups – monthly meetings to hear the stories of new businesses and offer advice and support
    Small Business Development Center – free consulting services to launch and grow ventures
    Social Media Breakfast – monthly learning about digital marketing followed by lively networking
    Greater Mankato Growth – events like Business After Hours and support for these other efforts are key
    Regus and Mogwai Collaborative – co-working spaces where newer entrepreneurs can meet and support one another
    Minnesota State University, Mankato College of Business Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) – mentoring and skill development of student entrepreneurs, and research to support business development


    1. Thanks, Yvonne. There’s a lot of good working going on in Greater Mankato and you’re helping lead the charge!


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