Exciting news and updates from Southwest Initiative Foundation!


Initiators Fellows Announced
Eight social entrepreneurs have been selected as the 2022-23 Initiators Fellowship cohort. Congratulations to the two fellows from our southwest Minnesota region. Khailf Ahmed Bashir of Willmar is working on immigrant homeownership, and Kristine Shelstad of Madison is working on community building.

SW Initiative Foundation has two new positions open on their community impact team: a Rural Equity Specialist and a Youth & Family Specialist. Apply today or share with someone you think would love to work for SWIF and be a partner in their incredible work! Learn more about these positions.

SW Initiative Foundation is offering a Grow Our Own grant round for nonprofits serving southwest Minnesota communities. Find details and the application online. Application deadline is Dec. 6.

November is Native American Heritage Month. Learn more and connect with others through two online opportunities: The Revolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America on Nov. 17, hosted by our sister foundation West Central Initiative; and Indigenizing economic growth: Facilitating connections and cooperation in Indian Country in Minnesota on Nov. 18-19, hosted by University of Minnesota Extension.

MPR News host Angela Davis and producer Samantha Matsumoto visited Nobles County, Minnesota’s most rapidly diversifying county. They spoke with people there about the changes they have seen, the challenges the county is experiencing and what gives them hope for the future. Listen to the two-part series.

Two new businesses opened in southwest Minnesota – Chaw’s Asian Market in Willmar and Crow River Comprehensive Hitting in Lester Prairie. Both businesses received assistance from our loan programs to get started.

Call for Artists! The IGNITE RURAL Artist Residency is open for applications. IGNITE RURAL will support four (4) BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and Native artists and culture bearers based in the 18-county Southwest Minnesota region in a four month “at-home” residency model. Learn more about this opportunity. The application deadline is Nov. 19.

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