In Wisconsin

Minority Business Development

Strengthening Minority Business Growth

Supporting the attraction, development and growth of minority-owned businesses is a collaborative effort in the state of Wisconsin. Along with state, federal and local agencies, as well as corporations and nonprofit minority business associations, WEDC works with minority entrepreneurs and business owners to provide financial assistance, programs, resources and statewide networking opportunities.

Only 15 percent of companies nationwide are owned by minorities. We want to change that story.

— Rebecca Kleefisch, Lt. Governor

Funding and Assistance

WEDC makes grants to nonprofit minority business associations that are well connected in their communities to distribute funds to help support diverse businesses throughout the state. Hundreds of businesses each year are served by WEDC’s Minority Business Development Program funding recipients, which include the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the Hmong Chamber of Commerce, and First-American Capital Corporation, the business financing arm of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.

WEDC also provides operational assistance to both its minority association partners and the businesses they serve.

In FY16, $505,500 in WEDC investment in minority-owned businesses drew $1.1 million in company match and partner investment, as well as $5.9 million in private loans.

Building Business Statewide

For more than three decades, the annual MARKETPLACE Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development has honored the success of top minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses. The two-day conference provides minority business owners with opportunities to meet with potential buyers from local governments, the federal government and the private sector, as well as to identify funding sources, network with other businesses and connect with business assistance resources

An event like this changes the landscape in which Wisconsin companies can operate.

— Tricia Braun, Chief Operation Officer, WEDC

A record 700+ attendees joined
us for the 2015 conference.


For additional information

Please contact WEDC’s Minority Business Development Director:
Seyoum Mengesha

Subscribe to INsource

Sign up for the latest information on economic development in Wisconsin, including resources that will help your business, community and clients grow, startup or expand in Wisconsin.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.