In 2010, WINGS started the WINGS Entrepreneurial Fund (WEF)
This initiative provides entrepreneurial support for women and youth
in the Northfield, Minnesota area who are interested in starting or expanding
their own business.
In partnership with the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
(SMIF), WINGS began a three year pilot program that will provide
technical assistance and micro-loans of up to $2,000 to women and youth
entrepreneurs to start or expand a business.
Apply for Technical Assistance or an Entrepreneurial Micro-loan
To apply for an entrepreneurial micro-loan, contact Marcia Haley at the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. Call 507-455-3215, ext. 124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Marcia Haley at 507-455-3215, ext. 124 or email email@example.com.
WEF Mentoring Program
The WEF Mentoring Program is one of the resources available to women and children who are interested in starting or expanding a business. Mentors are available free of charge to participants of WEF. Mentors are people with experience and expertise in a business and/or people with practical skills who are willing to support and or advise another person. This program is sponsored by WINGS/WEF committee.
Applications to apply or volunteer to the WEF Mentoring Program are found at the bottom of this webpage.
Mentoring Program FAQs
1.) What are the benefits for my participating in the WEF Mentoring Program?
Benefits may differ for each person. One study of those who were in mentoring relationships found these benefits: advice, guidance, information, support, and feeling connected to others.
2.) How does it relate to the WINGS/WEF mission?
The mission is to provide entrepreneurial support for women and youth in the Northfield, Minnesota area who are interested in starting or expanding their own business. Mentoring is one of the forms of support that is available from WINGS for participants in the WEF program.
3.) Who can request a mentor?
After you have had your first meeting with the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) staff person, you may be eligible for the mentor program. You do not need to take out a loan to participate.
4.) Who refers me to the Mentoring Program?
The SMIF staff member you meet with will provide you an application or you may download the application found at the bottom of this webpage. You will also receive contact information for the WINGS Mentoring Program liaison. This is the person who will be your main contact for questions about the mentoring program.
Mentors are interested volunteers, most often Northfield community members. Many may also be WINGS members. Interested people complete an application which can be downloaded at the bottom of this webpage. Benefits that mentors may receive include: personal relationship with mentee, satisfaction of helping & sharing experiences, feeling in touch with others, and learning from others.
6.) Approximately how long does it take to be matched with a mentor?
Once you have completed and submitted your application, the WINGS Mentoring Program liaison will be in contact with you. If a mentor is immediately available you will be given their name and contact information. If a mentor must be recruited to match your specific interests, you will be given an estimate of the time it will take to be matched with a mentor. Normally you will be contacted within one week.
7.) What is the goal of the mentorship process?
The major goal is individual development and learning to aid the likelihood of business success for the mentee.
8.) What are my responsibilities if I participate in the mentorship program?
You request a mentor. Once you are assigned a mentor, you contact them to discuss your mentoring goals and relationship. You create an informal agreement that includes how often you wish to be in contact and other information. You follow through on your plans with the mentor. Evaluations or other types of feedback may need to be completed. When your mentoring goals are met you end the program. If you have questions your mentor cannot answer, for example, legal questions, you may be set up with another mentor.
9.) What are the confidentiality requirements for participating in the mentorship program?
Conversations between the mentee and mentor may be confidential if one or both of the people so desire. Most times, the conversations will be private and it will not be appropriate to share with others. Sometimes, great ideas or other information from the mentoring conversations may be of value to others. If so, you may be asked how you feel about sharing stories or information with others.
10.) Do I have to sign anything?
You will be asked to sign an informal agreement that you create with your mentor. This will include agreed upon goals, how many times you will meet, and other practical matters. This is not binding like a legal document or other formal agreements.
Why Give to the WINGS Entrepreneurial Fund (WEF)?
seeks donations from members and non-members. Here are some reasons
why we think YOU may want to give to the WINGS Entrepreneurial Fund:
project makes loans and technical assistance available to women and
youth for business enterprises in the Northfield, Minnesota area.
benefits include increased economic development, increased city
revenues from the businesses and enhanced self sufficiency for families
who will be able to support themselves.
- Community members have a new opportunity to mentor those seeking assistance.