The topics featured in this edition of Community Dividend reflect the diverse mix of people, issues and resources that make up the community development environment of the Ninth Federal Reserve District.
Our first feature explores the current boom in African American-owned enterprises in Minnesota. Fueled by the demands of a growing community, U.S.-born African Americans and recent African immigrants are joining the ranks of small business owners in unprecedented numbers. Many of these entrepreneurs will face daunting challenges as they build their businesses. Fortunately, Minnesota is home to an array of organizations that can help African American-owned enterprises thrive.
A collaborative early childhood education initiative in Itasca County, Minnesota, is the focus of our second feature. Designed by the area's early childhood education providers and funded by the Blandin Foundation, the Invest Early initiative builds on and improves existing early childhood programs in the county. Although it has only been in place for a short time, Invest Early has already provided its stakeholders with insights into whether it's possible to deliver high-quality early childhood education at scale in a rural community.
Finally, our third feature describes the recent formation of the Montana Indian Business Alliance (MIBA). An outgrowth of a conference the Minneapolis Fed cosponsored earlier this year, MIBA was formed to strengthen tribal sovereignty and economies by drawing attention to the important role the private sector can play in Native communities. The alliance welcomes more partners as it works to nourish and sustain the movement toward private sector business development in Indian Country.