Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities in Minnesota

September 5–6, 2019

Inaugural Conference

The Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference is a community development initiative that brings together entrepreneurs, business leaders, economic development professionals, decision makers, and community champions to strengthen and broaden regional entrepreneurial networks.

This conference is being presented by a team of organizations led by University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, including the Minnesota Small Business Development Centers, The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota's Main Street Program, Forge North, Growth & Justice, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the University of Minnesota Crookston, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Latino Economic Development Center, the African Development Center, the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and many other organizations.

By increasing the frequency and density of regional cooperative network development and use, the conference aims to:

  1. Serve as a space where the tools and resources available to support entrepreneurs are showcased on a regional level
  2. Provide neighbors with the opportunity to learn from each other and share best practices in supporting entrepreneurial network development in their communities
  3. Provide regional entrepreneurial networks with the tools and knowledge of other state and national resources that are available to support entrepreneurial ecosystem development.

The inaugural conference in Minnesota is scheduled for September 5–6, 2019.

To learn more about the conference and its potential value to your community, please visit our 2019 Conference and For Participants pages.


For questions, please contact the Minnesota Extension CEC planning team members:

Rani Bhattacharyya

Extension educator, community economics, Northwest Minnesota

Email: | Tel: 218‐281-8689

Jennifer Hawkins

Extension educator, community economics, Southeast Minnesota

Email: | Tel: 507‐280‐5575

Neil Linscheid

Extension educator, community economics, South Central Minnesota

Email: | Tel: 320-203-6109