To be a catalyst, facilitating opportunities for economic and social growth by developing and challenging leaders to build on the region’s assets.
For Southwest Minnesota:
To be a highly productive and engaged region where growing numbers of people choose to live and work.
For Southwest Initiative Foundation:
By 2026, Southwest Initiative Foundation will position itself as the regional champion and inclusive partner to create prosperity for all our kids and the communities they call home.
We’re launching this new vision with a regional Grow Our Own Summit on December 15, 2016.
Our Guiding Principles
- An expansive definition of leaders
Drawing on the full power of the region means recognizing that many members of the community are potentially leaders, not only already-recognized officials, business people and citizens.
- An asset-based approach
Seeking to leverage the region’s strengths, as opposed to overcome its weaknesses, is a fundamental Southwest Initiative Foundation practice. Regional assets include economic advantages such as industry sectors, social strengths such as population segments and communities, and the physical qualities of southwest Minnesota that draw both commerce and people to the area.
- The interdependence of economic and social growth
Economic and social gains must be pursued simultaneously for individual initiatives and communities – and the overall region – to thrive. Efforts that appear to be primarily economic, such as business development, need a strong social infrastructure to succeed and vice versa.
- Nurturing entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs, both economic and social, are the wellspring of the region’s ability to progress. Many qualities associated with economic entrepreneurs – vision, initiative, the ability to mobilize others to create new enterprises – are also present and necessary in social catalysts.
- A focus on relationship building and collaboration
A critical strength of the Southwest Initiative Foundation is the ability to bring leaders together from many different sectors to address opportunities, both formally and informally, with a particular emphasis on increasing private sector involvement.
- A commitment to inclusiveness
The Foundation strives to incorporate diverse cultural, generational, gender and socioeconomic perspectives into its endeavors and expects the same of its partners.
- The importance of volunteerism and philanthropy
The dedication of southwest Minnesotans’ time, talent and financial support is a driving force in the region’s short and long term capacity to succeed.
- Transparency, integrity and accessibility
Acting as an open and trustworthy resource for the entire 18-county area is essential to achieving the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s mission.
- A voice for southwest Minnesota
Promoting the region’s accomplishments and opportunities is a vital aspect of all that the Foundation does.