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Bill Sands / Mike Temali Interview                                                                                   Please take one minute to evaluate our website. Click here to take the survey.

These comments are responses to the Civic Caucus interview with

Bill Sands, former Western Bank chair, and Mike Temali, Neighborhood Development Center CEO

March 6, 2015

How can Minnesota best tap the energy, talent and job-creating potential of low-income entrepeneurs? 

Overview

According to the former chair of St. Paul's Western Bank, Bill Sands, society must foster entrepreneurship, because job creation is as important as having enough people in the workforce. To that end, the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC), a nonprofit located in St. Paul, was founded in 1993, after a University of Minnesota study found that there were a variety of active and potential entrepreneurs in St. Paul's Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods. Sands recounts that the NDC was the successor organization to the bank's own community development corporation, established in 1990.

The NDC developed a 20-week entrepreneurial class that has become a mainstay of the organization and has trained 4,700 people over the years. Participants in the classes must be low-income and are largely recent immigrants or nonimmigrant people of color. Sands notes that about 25 percent of the class participants go on to start businesses. As of 2012, there were 457 NDC-assisted businesses that employed nearly 2,300 people at an average wage of $12 an hour.

In addition, NDC President Mike Temali says, the NDC offers micro loans and larger loans to finance small businesses that can't get loans at banks. It also offers continuing technical assistance to the entrepreneurs it has trained. NDC focuses on four inner city neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Challenges for NDC, he notes, include finding effective ways to work in the suburbs, forging stronger connections with secondary and postsecondary educational institutions and increasing self-sustainable sources of funding.

For the complete interview summary see: Temali-Sands interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (9.4 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (8.0 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

3. Start-ups needed as well as expansion. (9.7 average response) Minnesota's economic future is dependent upon the creation of new employers as well as the expansion of businesses by existing employers.

4. Low-income entrepreneurs generate jobs. (9.3 average response) The state should recognize that its lower income population, including immigrants, represents a ready source of initiative for job creation.

5. Neighborhood support more effective. (9.6 average response) Entrepreneurial energy is more likely to be unleashed at the neighborhood level by neighborhood-based organizations than by outside governmental entities.

6. NDC provides vital assistance. (9.5 average response) The Neighborhood Development Center in St. Paul provides new entrepreneurs vital training and financial help without which they would be far less likely to grow sustainable businesses.

7. Family businesses improve neighborhoods. (9.6 average response) Start-up businesses that are family-based can significantly broaden personal economic benefit, while strengthening the neighborhood as a whole.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

0%

33%

67%

9

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

22%

44%

33%

9

3. Start-ups needed as well as expansion.

0%

0%

0%

33%

67%

9

4. Low-income entrepreneurs generate jobs.

0%

0%

0%

44%

56%

9

5. Neighborhood support more effective.

0%

0%

0%

33%

67%

9

6. NDC provides vital assistance.

0%

0%

0%

33%

67%

9

7. Family businesses improve neighborhoods.

0%

0%

0%

33%

67%

9

Individual Responses:

Bert LeMunyon (7.5) (5) (10) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (10)

Dave Durenberger (10) (5) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
4. Low-income entrepreneurs generate jobs. As should local schools and colleges and the health care industry

6. NDC provides vital assistance. It's the linkage to existing resources of all kinds Bill has developed that makes this work

Scott Halstead (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
2. Further study warranted. We need similar programs in the suburbs and rural Minnesota.

The large immigrant population in many rural communities could be very fruitful places for similar programs and diversify the economies in those communities.

Trixie Ann Golberg (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
5. Neighborhood support more effective. Yes, but State policy creates or limits this from being realized. Must include private sector commitment and investment or will not evolve beyond cottage industry approach.

7. Family businesses improve neighborhoods. Must make this an option for young entrepreneurs in particular.

Vici Oshiro (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
1. Topic is of value. Very strongly agree.

Excellent choice.

Bryan Anderson (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)
I don't feel that the loans are being paid back. Most new small business fails in less than 3 years in this state and those that get free education in this state leave for right-to-work states. Southern states tend to attract our younger recent grads because they are actually adding jobs; [they are]warmer, [have] lower taxes, [are] cheaper to live [in] and [are] not mandatory union. We have a manufacturer of snowmobiles headquartered in Minnesota that just greatly expanded in Alabama. When the CEO was asked if Minnesota was even considered, he said no. This funding of free education and low-income business loans is absolutely a waste.

Wayne Jennings (10) (8) (9) (8) (9) (10) (9)

Chuck Lutz (8) (9) (9) (9) (8) (9) (8)

Larry Schluter (10) (8) (9) (9) (9) (9) (9)
It is great to see such a successful program. Mr. Sands has done a great job as a banker in low-income neighborhoods. It would be wonderful to see more business people like him.

Tom Spitznagle (9) (7) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
It seems highly effective to provide assistance to people who are already self-motivated to improve their personal well-being and, in the process, contribute to the well-being of their communities. This seems much more effective than trying to entice people into doing something positive via a state or federally administered "top down" program of some sort. Kudos to Bill and Mike.

 

To receive these interview summaries as they occur, email civiccaucus@comcast.net         Follow us on Twitter

 

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (Executive Director), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie,
Dan Loritz (Chair), Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman

 

 

 


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.
 

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