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University of Minnesota Extension Workshops: Retaining rural businesses through employee ownership

Friday, February 7, 2020   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Shelby Couch
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Are you looking for someone to buy your business? Would you like to attract a buyer to a business in your community? Finding buyers can be difficult. In rural communities, where many business owners are aging, business transition is an important issue.

For rural businesses with 10 to 100 employees, selling to employees may be an option. Employees are already invested in the local business, and current employees are less likely to buy and move the business to another location.  

Extension wants to help rural businesses and communities consider employee ownership. So we are co-hosting a series of workshops to create awareness and knowledge about converting rural businesses to employee cooperatives. At the workshops, you will learn about:

  • Selling a business to employees
  • Case studies and data on employee business transitions
  • Steps in the conversion process
  • Resources you will need along the way

Who should attend? Our workshops are best suited for:

  • Economic and business development officials
  • Owners and managers of businesses
  • Prospective employee-owners
  • Business support professionals

Each workshop is 90 minutes long. Workshops will be held in locations throughout eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.  We will also host a webinar later in 2020 for those unable to attend in March.




Workshops are subject to change or cancellation. Check this page for information on weather-related or other changes.

Dates, times and locations

March 2, 2020

  • Duluth, MN (9:00-10:30 AM)
  • Hayward, WI (1:00-2:30 PM)
  • Webster, WI (4:30-6:00 PM)

March 3, 2020

  • Mora, MN (9:00-10:30 AM)
  • Fridley, MN (3:00-4:30 PM)

March 4, 2020

  • Rushford, MN (10:00-11:30 AM)

March 5, 2020

  • Black River Falls, WI (10:00-11:30 AM)
  • Viroqua, WI (3:00-4:30 PM)

March 6, 2020

  • Oronoco, MN (9:30-11:00 AM)

Due to limited seating at some locations, please register. First priority will be given to those who pre-register.

More Information 




Michael Darger, U.M. Extension-Community Vitality says...
Posted Monday, February 10, 2020
Thanks for the invite Barbara. We will evaluate the March workshops, which are a pilot test on a small grant, and then determine how to provide them elsewhere.
Barbara Carr says...
Posted Saturday, February 8, 2020
If you would be willing to come to Aitkin, MN We are hosting a Tour Of Opportunities event and we would love your workshop. We can host you in our Incubator Building.

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