Compeer Financial joins SMIF for Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Program

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2023

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Compeer Financial is pleased to announce a new partnership for rural economic development with Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. The partnership will expand SMIF’s Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program to small towns in southern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

The REV program works with selected small towns over a three-year period. It takes a targeted approach to entrepreneurial development through outreach, investment and community ecosystem building. The participating communities are supported through a trained REV coach, who gives them the tools and resources they need to develop and execute entrepreneur-led strategic priorities.

The REV framework has a proven record of accelerating entrepreneurial activity across the United States. REV programming has activated entrepreneurial-led economic development in Minnesota communities like Blue Earth, Lanesboro, Le Sueur, Springfield, Spring Grove, Spring Valley, Mapleton, Montgomery and Wells for the last six years.

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These communities have each developed their own approach to economic development, from youth retention programs to the launch of Chambers of Commerce.

Compeer’s financial commitment will significantly expand the REV program. This collaboration will encourage more southern Minnesota communities to join the REV cohort and will foster additional opportunities for communities in Wisconsin and Illinois.

“We know that there are innovative individuals and businesses in our rural communities that need extra resources and support,” said John Monson, chief mission officer at Compeer Financial. “Bringing that framework to rural communities creates a ripple effect of thriving residents, towns and regions. We have seen the work that SMIF has accomplished in southern Minnesota and want to help bring those opportunities to others in Compeer’s territory.”

“We are excited to work with Compeer’s team to identify and work with communities that demonstrate entrepreneurial readiness,” said Pam Bishop, SMIF’s vice president of economic development. “We have experienced firsthand the impact of this work in communities dedicated to this framework. At the end of the day, every business has started in a basement, kitchen or garage. Acknowledging these individuals, understanding their needs and helping them find the resources at the right time, are all essential building blocks that lead to transformative community change.”

To learn more about the REV program, visit or contact Pam Bishop at 507-214-7013 or