BEMIDJI – Two residents of northwest Minnesota will join six other people statewide for an entrepreneurial program.
According to a statement from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, residents of Bemidji and Fosston have been selected for the two-year Initiators scholarship. The program helps social entrepreneurs accelerate their ideas, develop their networks and develop their business and community leadership skills.
The eight selected fellows will also receive an annual stipend of $ 30,000 during the program, which also includes full programming, executive level monitoring, leadership training and continuing education. They will also be assisted by program staff in advancing their business or non-profit activities.
Daniel Barrientez Jr. from Bemidji was selected for his Criminal Friendly Job Project. Released from incarceration in 2010, he initially had difficulty finding a job because of his file. Barrientez went on to get a culinary arts degree and plans to open a food truck business and create jobs for former criminals.
Brenna Rollie from Fosston was selected with her company Aham Love Yoga. Rollie hopes to improve the health and well-being of rural Minnesota communities by offering classes, community events, and youth camps. She plans to make such efforts with healing, community building and culture in mind.
The program was launched in 2016 and is managed by the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the West Central Initiative, the Initiative Foundation, and the Southwest Initiative Foundation.