ST. PAUL (March 19, 2010) – Minnesota dislocated workers age 45 or older who are interested in starting a business may be eligible to participate in the Project GATE II (Growing America Through Entrepreneurship) program, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has announced.Previously, the U.S. Department of Labor program, administered by DEED, served laid-off workers who were 50 or older. Since Project GATE II launched in the beginning of 2009, 277 individuals have participated in the program.
“We broadened the age-related eligibility requirement so we could help more aspiring entrepreneurs throughout Minnesota,” said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. “So far Project GATE has been valuable to those who have participated in the program.”
Project GATE II consultants train participants in the fundamentals of starting and managing a small business, evaluate the potential of the proposed business, and guide participants through the steps of business planning. The program is offered at no charge.
To be eligible you must be unemployed through no fault of your own, at least 45 years old, and eligible for the federal Dislocated Worker Program. Those interested may apply for the program at any WorkForce Center statewide.
Participants go through a five-stage process that includes pre-assessment and orientation, a business readiness assessment, business consulting, classroom training and financial assistance through organizations that help finance new ventures.
Project GATE II services are offered through Minnesota WorkForce Centers and the statewide network of Small Business Development Centers.
For questions about Project GATE II, contact Annie Welch at 651-259-7525 or [email protected].