Community Dividend

Minnesota Rural Partners president receives SBA awards

Published November 1, 2004  | November 2004 issue

Jane Leonard, president of Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc., recently received the Minnesota and Midwest Region Small Business Champion Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. She was also named the Home-Based Small Business Advocate of the Year for her ongoing work on the Virtual Entrepreneurial Network, now called BizPathways. The annual business advocate award recognizes those whose work improves conditions in which small businesses can advance.

BizPathways, at, is an online tool that matches business resource providers with entrepreneurs. The service was designed to provide assistance and training opportunities to rural small business owners, but is available to anyone with Internet access. The site's features include development plan templates, reminders of upcoming seminars and an "Ask for Advice" function.