The East Side of Saint Paul is incredibly diverse. Historically, it has been the home of people from countries and cultures from around the world. Many of those who have settled here have started businesses as a means to earning an income and providing for their families, as well as to share their skills and knowledge with the community.

To support this entrepreneurial spirit and help grow a locally-owned economy on the East Side, we will be providing funding to accomplish the following 3 Cs, while also prioritizing BIPOC business owners who historically have been left out of opportunity or who have not had access to the supports necessary to be successful.

Our Three Cs

  • Cohort

    • Support East Side entrepreneurs and business owners through the creation and delivery of a cohort model that provides training, technical assistance, mentorship and coaching as well as access to capital.
    • Explore joint-partnership opportunities with Self-Esteem Brands to deliver cohort services.
  • Capability

    • Support the capacity of East Side nonprofit organizations with a proven track record of cultivating a locally-owned economy to continue or expand services to clients.
    • Support efforts that preference the local East Side community over outside influences for property and land redevelopment.
  • Capital

    • Support opportunities for local property and business ownership through innovative financing tools, which could include direct investment.
    • Create or contribute to local loan funds so entrepreneurs can affordably finance and grow their enterprises.
    • Support mechanisms for uncomplicated access to affordable funds for East Side entrepreneurs and small business owners.

If your work aligns with any of these strategies, please feel free to submit some information to us through our Mini Letter of Inquiry form on our Grantmaking page and our Program Officer will be in touch with you.

You may also contact Vong Thao, Program Officer Entrepreneurship & Small Business, directly at [email protected] or 651-316-4430.