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SBA Names Minnesota Women in Business Champion for 2015

Release Date: 
Monday, April 20, 2015
Release Number: 
Patrick Saxton (612) 370-2325

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN – Jenny Herman, Professional Business Consultant for Northeast Minnesota Small Business Development Center (NE MNSBDC) and the Koochiching Economic Development Authority, based in International Falls, MN, has been named the Women in Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District Office. 

The Women in Business Champion is selected annually to honor individuals who have fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of women’s business ownership.  Elaine Hansen, Director, University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) Center for Economic Development and the North East Minnesota Small Business Development Center (NE MNSBDC) at the University of Minnesota - Duluth, has nominated Herman for this award. 

International Falls is a small business community on the Northern border of the United States near Canada with a population of almost 6,000 and just over 300 businesses. It is located in Koochiching County, which is an extremely rural area covering 3,102 square miles with an average population density of 4.6 people per square mile. Working in this remote community, Herman has earned a reputation as a one-person financial authority, professional supporter and advisor for the small businesses in her region.

Since 2007, Jenny has served as Professional Business Consultant in the Northeast MN SBDC, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. She has extensive experience in the finance industry and continues to use that expertise to assist businesses in navigating a multitude of issues including exporting, SBA loan packaging, accounting issues, and federal, state and local government financing.

When she started in 2007, the Professional Business Consultant position in the Northeast Region was only a 15-hour a week position. By 2010, Herman’s value had increased so significantly to the community that the City, County and other regional organizations polled enough resources to make the position full-time.

As a Business Consultant, Herman’s job is to assist regional businesses. Not only does she do this, but Herman also teaches workshops targeted to educate business owners, she coordinates Junior Achievement and CEO’s in the Classroom for the schools in Koochiching County, she actively participates on several community and non-profit boards and committees, and is a member of the Women’s Business Network in Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada.

Herman has made a remarkable difference for women-owned businesses in the region—not only in Koochiching County and International Falls, but also in the adjoining counties and for the women business owners across the border in Canada in the area surrounding Fort Frances. In addition to her SBDC consulting, she has created and sustained an active International Women’s Business Network (IWBN) for the past seven years. The IWBN meets monthly, drawing in upwards of 50 women entrepreneurs and business owner. These luncheon meetings are structured with a featured speaker. She has used her career experience and knowledge to help women business owners understand all aspects of business including ecommerce, exporting and the financial aspects of owning a business. Overall, Herman has had a tremendous and lasting impact in her region by encouraging entrepreneurship among the women in her region and across the border in Canada.

Herman will be honored at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards program on May 7, 2015, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

For more information:

Jenny Herman
Professional Business Consultant
Koochiching Economic Development Authority
405 3rd St
International Falls, MN 56649