Glossary of Terms

    An entrepreneur is a business person who assumes well-calculated, action-oriented risks. These individuals tend to exhibit tenacity and an ability to leverage resources to overcome remarkable obstacles. Entrepreneurs may not know everything about their business venture, but somehow they are able either to attract others who do know or to leverage their knowledge, often in resourceful and creative ways. An entrepreneur possesses great passion for his or her vision, and has a personality that attracts others to join in that vision. It is this energy that makes them key drivers in our economy and our social fabric.
    A group of business development professionals from South Dakota and experts from the region worked to together to design the Dakota Rising program. This group is continuing to work with Dakota Resources staff to refine the program.
    Fellows will be selected from the pool of applicants. Each Fellow will participate in a larger community built around entrepreneurship and will receive $10,000 to be used for learning and professional development. Each Fellow will be have access to a team of Mentors, preferably one from within that Fellow’s industry, and will participate in a Peer Advisory Board. The Fellowship, which is a 24-month commitment, will be a safe environment from which to explore new ideas, grow professionally, and strengthen ventures.
    Each applicant will be paired with a Mentor to refine final application. Once selected, each Fellow will have access to a team of Mentors that can be accessed on an as-needed and as-available basis for the duration of the Fellowship. The Mentor is there to be a sounding board for new ideas, and to provide some level of expertise for the business venture. Mentors attend the Annual Empower Sessions Conference and participate in Cohort convenings by invitation.
    Each Fellow will be placed on a four-member Cohort, comprised of other Fellows. The Cohort will meet quarterly and review each other’s progress toward specific goals. Cohorts will be available to ask probing questions and to hold each Fellow to the highest standards for the sake of the business. Mentors can be invited to participate in Cohort discussions when appropriate and when their presence will enhance the quality of the discussion.
    Dakota Rising was founded on the profound belief that entrepreneurs tend to be change-makers. Change may not occur with this venture or at this time, but impassioned entrepreneurs will eventually make their mark. By investing deeply into their leadership through Professional Development, Dakota Rising partners believe that we are investing in the future change-makers for our state. Professional Development can take the form of formal education, such as a class or workshop, or involve hiring a Professional Business Coach to advise better strategies and approaches to problem solving. Sometimes the best investment is hiring a consultant to develop a specific aspect of the business or to do a marketing plan.
    South Dakota has a statewide network of organizations involved in economic development and entrepreneurship. Representatives from many of the key organizations have been involved in the design of Dakota Rising largely because of their interest in strengthening the State Network around a common focus. Fellows will have the benefit of accessing this organized State Network and hopefully will be able to leverage greater resources, information and capital.
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