Minn. bank commits half a million dollars to support women’s businesses

Minnesota Bank & Trust is collaborating with WomenVenture, supporting its microlending program.

The $631 million bank will purchase loans from WomenVenture in a first-of-its-kind transaction in the Twin Cities. The $500,000 from the bank will allow the women’s business center to make new loans to entrepreneurs ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, as well as to service its existing customers.

“When we learned there was an opportunity to partner together, we jumped at the chance,”  said Ken Brooks, president of the Edina-based bank. 

“This is a high-impact way to help WomenVenture meet the capital needs of our clients without adding debt to our balance sheet,” said Elaine Wyatt, CEO of the women’s initiative. “As a result, we’re better positioned to serve women-owned businesses who need capital to launch and grow their companies.”

“WomenVenture is a long-standing and highly-respected organization,” Brooks said. “We’re proud to support the work they’re doing to help women attain economic self-sufficiency through business ownership.”

WomenVenture is designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a women’s business center, one of only two in Minnesota, ensuring critical resources are available to women entrepreneurs, particularly those who are economically or socially disadvantaged.

The partnership between Minnesota Bank & Trust and WomenVenture was abetted by Revolve, a consulting firm that facilitates relationships between banks and community development financial institutions.