It’s easy to lose track of everything new in Fargo-Moorhead. With a strong economy, a highly educated population and strong Midwestern work ethic, the metro is a mecca for startup companies and entrepreneurial activities.
But it isn’t all by chance. From efforts by organizations such as Emerging Prairie and Folkways, to support from the Bank of North Dakota, city and state government as well as new training programs developed by local universities, Fargo-Moorhead has deliberately created an ecosystem for entrepreneurs.
This strategy is well-defined and supported by the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC) and its support of Emerging Prairie – an organization developed with a mission to connect and celebrate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Fargo-Moorhead. Greg Tehven, executive director of Emerging Prairie, says the organization’s role is “to challenge the status quo through events and programs designed to convene leaders and progress ideas into action while infusing culture, building on bright spots and welcoming people from a variety of backgrounds.”
Emerging Prairie hosts a variety of events and initiatives designed to encourage entrepreneurs to connect with each other and foster environments conducive to collaboration. “Initiatives led by entrepreneurs have a higher likelihood of supporting entrepreneurs because what they need most is interaction with other entrepreneurs,” Tehven says.
Recently, the Bank of North Dakota – the only state-owned bank in the country – and the North Dakota Department of Commerce announced plans to diversify the economic stability of the state by offering new and revamped guidelines for loans. These loans allow businesses to get additional cash flow and better manage funding gaps, thereby creating greater opportunities to thrive. Other investment groups such as Arthur Ventures and the 701 Angel Fund aim to not only fund startups and entrepreneurs, but also provide business resources. Those starting a business are offered expert insights and connections to launch their ideas through workshops and mentoring programs.
You don’t have to look far in the community to find established businesses that have benefited from the strategic support and opportunities provided in the Fargo-Moorhead community. Best of all, these experienced entrepreneurs are paying it forward, offering their expertise and mentorship to the next generation of startups.
To support local entrepreneurs, Fargo-Moorhead offers a toolkit of funding options, educational resources and events to encourage startups and fuel the entrepreneurial ecosystem. These resources include:
STARTUP SUPPORT & FUNDING
- Emerging Prairie
- Bank of North Dakota business loans
- GFM Economic Development Corp.
- North Dakota Department of Commerce
- Arthur Ventures
- 701 Angel Fund
ECOSYSTEM EVENTS & GROUPS
- 1 Million Cups
- Startup Weekend
- Prairie Den
- Drone Focus
- Tech Tailgate by Girl Develop It
- FMWF Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs Academy
ENTREPRENEUR BUSINESS EDUCATION
- Small Business Administration
- Co.Starters by Folkways
- Innovate ND
- Center for Technology and Business
- NDSU Certificate in Entrepreneurship
- MSUM Entrepreneurship Certification
- Concordia College Offutt School’s Hamm Center for Entrepreneurship
- NDSCS Business Pro Series
- ND Small Business Development Centers
- M State Degrees in Business and Business Entrepreneurship
With all of these resources and more, Fargo-Moorhead continues to strategically grow and construct an ecosystem designed to support entrepreneurs and startups. With expert mentors, financial support and unique opportunities to connect and collaborate, any aspiring entrepreneur will find what they need to succeed in this community.