NEON was established in 2006 to support entrepreneurs in North Minneapolis. NEON was in a fiscal sponsorship relationship until they received its own 501(c)(3) in 2009. Through capital investment and business support, NEON helped establish or expand 60 businesses in North Minneapolis by 2013. Today NEON is growing: Last year NEON created unique growth opportunities for business owners through programs, marketplace opportunities and social enterprise divisions. NEON nearly doubled its operating budget through increased grant funding, partnerships and 21st century co-working space.
- Provide training and business development to small businesses in various stages of development
- Support entrepreneurs through strategic capital investments
- Strengthen the support network of Northside entrepreneurs and connect them to development opportunities
- Develop an organization that is a model for conducting economic development in urban communities
Annual budget: NEON has an operating budget of approximately $1 million. NEON’s mission is primarily funded through contributions from foundations and government contracts with supplemental earned income.
Recruitment Needs: The board of NEON is seeking individuals that are passionate about entrepreneurs of color and believe that North Minneapolis (and the immediate surrounding community) is ripe for economic development that can benefit low to moderate income residents. NEON is looking for individuals that are willing to commit time and energy to the mission of NEON.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: NEON is committed to pursuing policies and practices that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles. The NEON board seeks to be representative of residents in the North Minneapolis community and strives to be a welcoming place for diverse perspectives to be included in the organization’s decision-making.
- Talent Acquisition and Human Resources
- Individuals that have experience with Talent Acquisition are needed to help surface and vet qualified candidates for key management positions.
- Experts in Human Resources are needed on the newly developed Human Resources Committee which will advise and create a NEON talent development plan and evaluation in partnership with the NEON President.
- Nonprofit Governance: Individuals that have been on boards or are interested or experience in board governance are needed to join the newly formed Governance Committee.
- Structuring Capital Investments: Individuals with experience structuring venture capital investments, angel investments, or equity models for businesses are needed to advise the board in a general sense, and potentially work on the loan committee which provides loans to business owners.
The main responsibility of board members is to be a strategic partner to the NEON President and staff.
- Number of members: Nine
- How many needed: Three board members, and additional board committee members
- Meeting time and frequency: Monthly, third Friday of the month mornings, 7:30-9 am
- Meeting location: NEON—1007 West Broadway, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
- Time Expectation: 10-15 hours a month including service on a committee or doing committee work.
- Financial Contribution requirement: Yes, a contribution that is within your top three philanthropic priorities.
- Committee requirement: Yes. Available committees: Human Resources Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, Governance Committee, Loan/Capital Committee and a Real Estate Task Force
- Length of Term: Three years
- Renewable: Yes, board members are eligible for renewal of their board term