Programs & Services

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Program Information

Small Business Development
Community Engagement & Outreach
Government Compliance
Junior Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (jEM)
Nonprofit Development
Student Opportunities & Resources
Supplier Diversity Services

Contact Information
Phone #: (612) 624-0530

Awards, Incentive & Recognition (AIR) Program

The Awards, Incentive & Recognition (AIR) Program is designed to recognize University departments, as well as individual staff members, that demonstrate exemplary efforts in supporting and doing business with Targeted Businesses (women/minority/disabled owned business enterprises - WMDBEs). Through this program, departments are able to receive financial rewards based on their efforts to purchase goods and services from Targeted Businesses, while individual staff can also be recognized and rewarded for their work in assisting and creating business opportunities for Targeted Businesses. More details


Business Development Services

BCED has expanded upon its current capabilities of providing management and technical assistance to small businesses to provide educational, legal and accounting resources/tools, workshops, seminars, customized training, and direct coaching support. This new model will focus on leveraging the internal resources and assets of the University in coordination with the resources and expertise of its external partners to meet the growing needs and interests of its business clients. Current offerings include: Breakthrough Series, Idea Accelerator, and Business Accelerator. More details


Community Health Initiative (CHI)

The Community Health Initiative (CHI) is an expansion of the Office for Business & Community Economic Development's Management & Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) for Nonprofits and is unique in that it focuses directly on communities that face public health disparities and other socio-economic issues. Through funding support provided by Medica, the University of Minnesota's Office for Business & Community Economic Development sponsors the Community Health Initiative, which provides resources to help community-based nonprofit organizations and businesses that impact public health, social services, medicine or medical technology. The CHI program addresses these issues relating to public health disparities and socio-economic issues by supporting University of Minnesota graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds, with special consideration for students of color. More details



The University of Minnesota is committed to community and economic development. In partnership with community-based organizations, city government, unions, and primary contractors, the University strives to implement innovative strategies to build a diverse labor force on all University construction projects.

The Office for Business & Community Economic Development, in conjunction with Capital Planning and Project Management, provides assistance and programs to promote inclusion for small minority- or women- owned businesses. At the start of every project, general contractors are required to establish levels of participation for Targeted Businesses. On a monthly basis, these reports are reviewed to determine if the projects are realized, and to identify areas for improvement. More details


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. More details


Management & Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) for Nonprofits

MTAP for Nonprofits is designed to help nonprofit organizations that serve urban communities build capacity and enhance their performance and effectiveness. The program will consist of three primary service components: the Convening component, the Technical Assistance component and the Executive Leadership Development component. More details



The Technology Empowerment Center takes donated computers that are no longer being used, refurbishes them and gives them to people living in the community who aren't able to afford a new computer.  We aim to reduce the growing inequality of access to information technologies among low-income and disadvantaged groups. The goal is to provide a professional training environment for community members to continue developing and enhance their technology skills beyond the basics in order to compete in the global workforce, and refurbish and distribute computers and make them available to low-income communities, individuals and community organizations. More details

 Community Impact Internship Program                                         

The Community Impact Internship Program enables Graduate and Professional students to gain vital experience and develop hands-on consulting skills while providing community outreach assistance to nonprofit organizations and/or through applied learning experiences by linking them to opportunities in communities that face public health disparities and other socio-economic issues.  These internships are managed by BCED and all financial contributions and payment to students will be facilitated by the Office for Business and Community Economic Development.