The Otto Bremer Small Business Fund, a new “patient-capital” fund run by the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) and supported by the Otto Bremer Trust (OBT), has made its first investments in two minority-owned early-stage companies.
This form of funding is aimed at high-opportunity minority businesses that do not yet generate enough revenue to qualify for more traditional operating loans or credit lines. Recipients will have a longer timetable to deliver returns to the fund. The fund, which provides capital for up to three years, was established with a $1.2 million commitment from OBT in 2016.
The first investments from the fund were recently made to Casa Travel & Technologies in Burnsville and Aucta Technologies in Minneapolis.
“Until now, access to patient capital has been largely nonexistent for minority business owners,” said CEO Gary Cunningham of Meda. “The Otto Bremer Small Business Fund is a new day for our area’s promising minority entrepreneurs. Now, they’ll have the means to create jobs and make the investments necessary to gain market traction. It will help seed economic growth and stability throughout our communities.”
Meda, whose services include business consulting and financing, has guided more than 20,000 minority entrepreneurs and helped launch over 550 businesses since 1971.
The Bremer trust, which has $1 billion in assets and owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank, makes philanthropic-and-business investments in the Upper Midwest.