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The Entrepreneur Fund announces five graduates of the Be Strategic Program

Jul 27, 2018 09:53AM ● By Editor

From the Cook County News Herald - July 27, 2018

The Entrepreneur Fund is pleased to announce that five business professionals completed the spring session of Be Strategic: Grow Your Business (Be Strategic) in Grand Marais.

Be Strategic is a carefully designed business acceleration program for established entrepreneurs seeking 25 percent revenue growth over three years. In addition to the skills and resources learned during the course, graduates receive follow-up business advisement, peer group facilitation and access to low-interest financing to implement their growth strategies and achieve 25 percent revenue growth by 2021.

“It is such a transformational process to watch business owners start and complete Be Strategic,” said Steve Surbaugh, business advisor at Entrepreneur Fund. “This group of professionals were completely committed to the program and worked together to help each other identify challenges and solutions for each unique business.”

Grand Marais business owners and consultants completing the six-session series included: Karen Blackburn, Back Office Services; Pat Campanaro, Small Business Development Center; Samuel Hedstrom, The Big Lake; Ron Piercy, Yellow Bird Fine Art; and Abby Tofte, The Big Lake.

“I enjoyed it all and found great value in each concept, tool, and session,” said Abby Tofte, owner of The Big Lake, an online and brick-and-mortar art gallery and gift shop. “I would absolutely recommend this course to other business owners in the community.” 

Be Strategic

The Be Strategic Program is a six-session series providing business owners with a longterm strategic plan, improved marketing, finance and management skills and a secure network of regional business peers.

The Entrepreneur Fund has fueled more than 14,000 businesses with expert support and funded over $41 million in loans since 1989.

Participants are paired with an experienced Entrepreneur Fund business advisor for counsel in implementing their strategic plans and accessing other resources such as financing to execute their growth strategies. Upcoming fall classes have been scheduled in Grand Rapids and Duluth. For more information about the Be Strategic program, visit

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