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Robinson Joins Foundation as Entrepreneurship Programs Officer

November 18, 2021

New position expands opportunities for those who aspire to start, grow businesses in Central Minnesota

LITTLE FALLS, MINN.--The Initiative Foundation is expanding its capacity to support entrepreneurs of all backgrounds in Central Minnesota with the addition of Donniel Robinson as entrepreneurship programs officer.


Robinson will work across the Initiative Foundation’s entrepreneurship programs and support the growth of Enterprise Academy to enhance the experience and expand opportunities for those who aspire to start or grow a business in Central Minnesota.

“The vision of the Initiative Foundation and its 35-year history of making programs available to individuals and underserved communities really appealed to me,” said Robinson, whose background includes small business ownership, project management and grantwriting. "As we move into 2022, we’ll look at expanded programming for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, the possibilities of having additional cohorts, expanding the economic diversity of those we serve, and introducing peer mentorships while building alumni engagement."

The organization’s inclusive entrepreneurship portfolio, led by Vice President Brian Voerding, includes the Foundation’s Initiators Fellowship, Enterprise Academy, gap lending, microlending programs and technical assistance provided by industry professionals.

“Donniel’s roots in the region, her work with small businesses and nonprofits, and her personal experience as an entrepreneur all bring incredible expertise and lived experience to the Foundation,” Voerding said. “We’re excited for all the entrepreneurs we serve to benefit from the directions her vision and passion take our programs and services.”

About the Initiative Foundation

Celebrating its 35-year anniversary in 2021, the Initiative Foundation exists to empower people throughout Central Minnesota to build a thriving economy, vibrant communities and a lasting culture of generosity by offering business loans, technical assistance, nonprofit grants, donor services and leadership training. Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation has invested more than $112 million-plus in targeted grants and loans in its effort to support and diversify Central Minnesota’s economy.

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