Initiative Foundation Get Logos

Business Financing


The Initiative Foundation works to create economic
opportunity by lending funds to locally owned businesses.

The Foundation’s business loans work to strengthen communities and diversify local economies. In partnership with other lenders, the Initiative Foundation offers loans to entrepreneurs who ...

  • Wish to start or expand a locally owned business.
  • Have a sound business plan and acceptable credit.
  • Create quality jobs with living wages and benefits.
  • Advance local and regional goals for target industries.

A diversity of financing programs

The Initiative Foundation offers the following business financing programs to meet diverse regional needs:

  • Direct Business Loan Fund - up to $250,000 for value-added agriculture and manufacturing companies that bring new revenue to communities.
  • Technology Capital Fund - up to $500,000 for emerging high-tech ventures and technologies that increase productivity.
  • Green Business Loan Fund - up to $250,000 for businesses that preserve the environment, reduce energy demands or recycle existing waste streams.
  • Nonprofit Loan Fund - up to $50,000 for the creation or expansion of mission-related earned-income/social enterprise activities carried out by eligible nonprofit organizations. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital, equipment acquisition and/or facility improvements.
  • Lender Match Loan Fund - up to $50,000 for manufacturing, technology, wholesale and other businesses. In partnership with financial institutions, this fund provides crucial capital to minimize the out-of-pocket cash outlay otherwise needed for a down payment on the purchase of equipment or real estate.  

The Initiative Foundation places an emphasis on technology-based and green businesses as well as value-added manufacturing and agriculture operations. Nontraditional business owners such as women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Business loans are competitive and subject to review by staff and a volunteer committee. Loans may require 90 days to review and close based on complexity and documentation.

How to apply

After reviewing the above loan guidelines, please email us at or call toll-free (877) 632-9255. This is your first step to securing a loan through the Initiative Foundation.

Initiative Foundation loans are seldom more than 50 percent of a total financing package. Terms require a personal guaranty. The Foundation does not award grants to businesses, nor does it finance alcohol, tobacco, gambling, or pornography businesses.



Dan Bullert
Business Finance Officer  |  (320) 632-9255 

Sharon Gottwalt

Sharon Gottwalt
Business Finance Assistant  |  (320) 631-2010 

Insight & Information

From its inception in 1986 through June 2013, the Initiative Foundation has awarded 892 loans totalling $42.3 million. These investments have results in 11,749 jobs being created or retained.

The Foundation is certified by the United States Department of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution, a specialized financial institution that works in market niches that are underserved by traditional financial institutions.

The Foundation is certified by the Small Business Administration as a Community Advantage lender and is also proud to be a member of the Opportunity Finance Network.

Support Central Minnesota