Community Engagement & Outreach

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The AIR Program is designed to recognize University departments, as well as individual staff persons; that demonstrate exemplary efforts in supporting and doing business with Targeted Businesses (women/minority/disabled owned business enterprises - WMDBEs).

Through this program departments can receive financial rewards based on their efforts to purchase goods and services from Targeted Business while individual staff will also be recognized and rewarded for their work in assisting and creating business opportunities for Targeted Businesses.



Junior Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (jEM)
The University of Minnesota offers a five-week-long summer camp designed to introduce high school students to the basics of entrepreneurship and leadership through a fun, engaging, hands-on learning environment. The jEM program aims to build students' critical thinking and business acumen, while increasing their confidence and sense of social responsibility.


The Construction Expo is hosted by the Office for Business & Community Economic Development and provides excellent networking opportunities for contractors and business owners to identify new suppliers, discuss business opportunities and form joint ventures. The intent is to maximize inclusion on University construction projects; provide direct link between the University, general contractors, sub-contractors, professional service providers, small business owners and businesses owned by women, minorities and disabled persons. The Expo provides an environment for making job contacts, explore career interests and gather information on the University’s Construction Program.
The Small Business Networking Fair is hosted by the Office for Business & Community Economic Development to bring together businesses selling goods and services with departmental buyers from across the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus.  The last SBNF was attended by over 400 people and featured vendors exhibiting everything from furniture and office supplies to web-development and temporary staffing.  If you are involved with making purchases on behalf of your departments or if you are a business looking to expand your business on campus, you are strongly encouraged to register and attend the event.