MEDA Awarded $1 Million for Growth and Development of Minority-Owned Businesses in Minneapolis

Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) is one of five recipients of the $5MM NEXT Fund for Innovation (NEXT Fund), a pilot program of Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a Philadelphia-based, national organization of community-development financial institutions. Developed with support from Wells Fargo and Prudential Financial, the program funds business models, products, platforms or processes that have the ability to drive transformational change. 

Metropolitan Economic Development Association will provide a new, patient equity-like capital product to support early-stage minority-owned businesses in Minneapolis that have potential for high growth. 

“MEDA is excited to be part of this innovative program to provide sorely needed patient capital to minority-owned businesses,” said Gary Cunningham, president and CEO of MEDA in a statement. “Nationally, less than 10% of patient and equity capital is invested in minority-owned businesses. MEDA is proud to partner with OFN and Wells Fargo to provide this funding which is necessary to fund innovation, potential and growth in minority businesses. By investing in these businesses, MEDA will be helping them reach scale, increase revenues and become sustainable employers.”

MEDA was founded by a group of Minnesota business leaders who saw minority business ownership as a positive, long-term response to rising economic inequity within minority communities in our state. The organization provides access to capital, business development services, and corporate and governmental market support for minority entrepreneurs. It has helped launch more than 500 minority businesses and assisted more than 20,500 Minnesota minority entrepreneurs to become business owners. For more information, visit