The Veden Center for Rural and Economic Development at the University of Minnesota Crookston is offering a free online class and technical assistance to Latino entrepreneurs and businesses through the Mano Amiga program.

The Mano Amiga program is made possible by a $100,000, one-year grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) agency. The Veden Center for Rural Economic Development works to increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities among the growing Latino community in greater Minnesota.

The first online Mano Amiga Educational program is set to begin November 2. The cohort will include 10 people. It will provide an overview of business principles and will explore pathways toward starting a business or considering a career in business. The program will also focus on business development. The cohort will run for six weeks with future cohorts planned. To register for the Mano Amiga Educational program visit

Additionally, the Veden Center is offering the following no-cost technical assistance to Latino entrepreneurs and small businesses to help launch and grow their business.

Feasibility Analysis and Business Plan Development which includes analyzing the feasibility of a potential venture and creating a working business plan.

Computer, Software and Point of Sale Assistance including basic assistance with computer software programs and guidance in identifying and implementing accounting and point of sale software.

Digital Marketing including search engine optimization (i.e. coming up first on Google), website development and social media marketing.

Marketing Planning and Research which includes identifying target audiences/customers, researching competitors, developing an initial marketing strategy, and creating a long-term marketing plan.

Communication and Public Relations which includes translating materials from Spanish to English, and the initial creation of business and marketing materials such as flyers, brochures, etc.  

To inquire about technical assistance from the Veden Center visit

The Veden Center for Rural Economic Development is a think tank dedicated to creating prosperity through innovative partnerships and development of opportunities for the region.  Ongoing work includes thought leadership with a focus on rural America post COVID-19, bridging urban and rural business opportunities, incubation and acceleration services for veterans, new Americans and economically disadvantaged populations and creating new pathways for student success following their higher education experience.

For more information on the Veden Center and the Mano Amiga program visit here

About UMN Crookston

One of five campuses in the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Crookston cultivates curiosity by engaging students in hands-on learning connecting theory to practice. As the experienced leader in delivering education online, the Crookston campus offers a distinctive learning environment providing personal attention and mentorship to develop leaders, lifelong learners, and engaged citizens. Visit Crookston at 

About UMN

The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota. Learn more at

Story Contact: Shawn Smith