Harnessing the Power of Black Wealth
ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
ACER supports the small and micro-businesses that are the economic backbone of BIPOC immigrant communities in the Northwestern suburbs. Our work includes connecting businesses to resources, providing free technical assistance and one-to-one business consulting, training for start-ups and new business owners, and distributing micro-grant funding and scholarships.
Whether you're a start-up entrepreneur or you have been operating for 25 years, ACER's business services connect business owners with resources and support businesses with their pressing needs. Services include:
Free Technical Assistance:
ACER's consultants offer free services in Accounting & Bookkeeping, Business Strategy, Financial Advising, Human Resources, and Marketing.
Elevate Hennepin SM
ACER is not the only place you can find technical assitance support. Elevate Hennepin SM is a resource hub powered by Hennepin County connecting local entrepreneurs to trusted resources and expert advisors at no cost.
With our partners, ACER hosts and supports training sessions for aspiring and current business owners. Training sessions teach best business practices and help business owners navigate the day-to-day operations of their businesses.
Led by TRUTH Mentorship program Only 7% of businesses in the Twin Cities are BIPOC-owned despite Black, Indigenous, and People of Color representing 22% of the metro area. The 12-month Led by TRUTH Mentorship program provides free access to both resources and capital to minority entrepreneurs.
Through our micro-grants programs, we are able to reallocate resources to businesses. We issue grants to business owners with various needs who may have traditionally faced barriers in accessing grants. Grant opportunities are offered at varying times throughout the year.
ACER works in partnership with business owners, government structures, and organizations within the business development ecosystem to push for structural and programmatic policy changes that support access to resources for BIPOC businesses and communities.
Community Development Projects
The purpose of ACER’s community development work is to promote, sustain, support, and maintain community action. Community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions for community wealth building. Currently, we are working on creating Economic Hubs in the Northwest suburbs. These hubs will be intentional in providing direct funding to support community ownership models.
Blue Line Coalition
ACER is a part of the Blue Line Coalition (BLC), a group of community organizations focused on ensuring economic justice for our communities during the planning and construction of the Metro Blue Line light rail extension. The BLC is rooted in the BIPOC and immigrant communities that will be most impacted by this project. Since 2013, we have been working together to make sure government leaders recognize the Blue Line extension is a racial justice and regional equity issue and that community inclusion and leadership must be central to ALL planning and outcomes. Our mission is to work in coalition to build community-based power that ensures immigrant/refugee, low-wealth and Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) communities along the Blue Line Extension Corridor are able to stay in their homes and businesses, create wealth and economic development, and enhance their wellbeing and access to opportunity throughout the region.