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Entrepreneur Centers of North Dakota

By: Dale Van Eckhout
Senior Area Manager, Bismarck Area Office
North Dakota District Office

Are you seeking information on how to finance your business or assist someone in the development of financing a business?  Your local lender is the best place to start to discuss financing for your proposal.  They will be most familiar with your business and can advise you on the amount of equity, cash flow requirements and collateral needed for a conventional loan and may offer other suggestions on financing of your business.

As an additional source of information on business finance, you may consider the Entrepreneur Centers of North Dakota (ECND).  The ECND was started as a one stop center for business finance information in 1996 and has assisted many individuals and businesses in start-up and expansion of their businesses across North Dakota.

The goal of this group is to work jointly with business people, borrowers, lenders, economic developers and communities to streamline the financing process and provide timely service in the information and connection to numerous finance programs through federal, state and local sources.  Those involved in the ECND have many years of experience in finance and are ready to provide confidential assistance based on the business finance needs.  The partners of ECND include Bank of North Dakota, North Dakota Department of Commerce, U.S. Small Business Administration, and USDA Rural Development with the North Dakota Center for Technology and Business providing technical support.

Rather than being sent from one agency or office to another to obtain information on finance programs, the ECND strives to provide the clearest direction to obtain the needed financing in the most efficient manner possible.  The ECND can arrange for a meeting to go over the proposal at their offices in Bismarck, Fargo or Grand Forks or come to the community you plan for the proposal.  The ECND will include the Regional Councils along with local finance programs and offer advice regarding other available sources of finance, depending on what the project requires.  There are more than 20 programs available through the partner agencies to assist in the financing needed to expand or start your business.  For larger projects, a combination of resources is often needed.

Additional information on ECND, along with a request for assistance, can be found and submitted at www.ecnd.net or by calling 1-800-544-4674.


Dale Van EckhoutDale Van Eckhout has been the Bismarck area manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration since 2011, having formerly been Business and Cooperative Program Director and District Director for USDA Rural Development.  He is a Certified Economic Development Professional and received Accreditation from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.  He can be reached at dale.vaneckhout@sba.gov.