Northspan by the Numbers: 2021

The year 2021 at a glance:

  • Clients invested $709,471
  • Projects invested $26.2 million
  • 73 clients served, including 45 in business development, 13 in community development, and 15 in organizational development

For every $0.70 in client investment, $26 were invested in the region we serve. Northspan secured $13 of that $26 ($13.2 million).

We conduct the bulk of our work in our region, where we have deep roots throughout northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. However, Northspan is not geographically bound—in past years, we’ve completed projects located across the United States. Here’s a map showing where our clients were located in 2021. You can also view our full 2021 Impact Report.

Highlights from 2021 include the launch of Welcoming Community programming and the completion of a new strategic plan that will guide the next five years of our work.

Program Highlights from 2021

  • Northland Connection
      • The online talent community currently brings together 4,600 candidates and 1,253 employers in our region. In 2021 alone:
        • 174 new candidates signed up, including 33 candidates from outside our region interested in moving here
        • 126 new employers signed up 
        • Employers posted 2,533 jobs
      • Added Student Connect programming designed to help area students connect with local employers seeking interns and entry-level employees   
      • Launched (Dec. 2020) as an online resource hub for people interested in moving to our area 
      • Conducted free, virtual Business Meet & Greets to allow job seekers to network one-on-one with major area employers
  • MNOppCo
      • The Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative wrapped up three years of opportunity zone development webinars with a final event on November 18. While MNOppCo’s webinar series has concluded, the website will remain active. We continue to accept project submissions and are happy to help connect potential developers, investors, and interested stakeholders.
  • Welcoming Community
      • Launched the Welcoming Community program with the goal of welcoming new residents or those from historically disadvantaged backgrounds and fostering an inclusive environment to set the stage for community and economic growth.

Event Highlights

Team Updates

  • Northspan welcomed three new additions to our team in 2021: 
    • Ashley Luna joined the team as operations specialist, assisting in administrative operations and providing logistical support for Northspan and its programs.
    • John Lukan, a business analytics student at the University of Minnesota Duluth, completed a one-year internship with Northspan and conducted an in-depth research project.  
    • Amber Lewis, a Lead for Minnesota Fellow, joined Northspan for a two-year duration with a focus on facilitating the Welcoming Community program as program coordinator. 

More Highlights

  • City of Cohasset Incubator Building Feasibility Study Read More 
  • Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures Entrepreneurial Business Incubator Community Engagement and Research Read More 
  • Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Public Engagement Facilitation Read More 
  • Added Underwriting Capacity for Northland Foundation Loans Read More 
  • $60 Million Framework to Develop Northland Digital Ecosystem Read More 
  • Strategic planning work including: 
    • Kanabec County Economic Development Authority Read More 
    • Hermantown Economic Development Authority Read More 
    • Chester Bowl Improvement Club Read More 
    • Fond du Lac Agriculture Division Read More 
    • Head of the Lakes United Way Read More 

We look forward to working with you in 2022! Learn more and connect with us here.