Region Nine Development Commission has been awarded a grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and is now assisting local food entrepreneurs with their Feast! Smart Start Program.

The Feast! Smart Start program provides support for individual farm and food entrepreneurs through a defined, structured technical assistance and coaching process.

Sunday was their kick–off event at Mankato Brewery, where enrolees learned more about the program.

"They get extensive business training with technical assistance, training on quick books, training on marketing and other things that will help them grow their business," explained Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation President Tim Penny.  "We then team them with a mentor that work hand and glove with them in their business to help them with those day-to-day challenges.”

Participants of the Feast! Smart Start Program will be in the program for one–year, and will leave with tangible skills and a driven plan to continue growth with their business.

--KEYC News 12