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BR&E Course

Business retention and expansion in your community
Our course offers in-person or online training in BR&E strategies

The Business Retention and Expansion in Your Community course for 2016 will be held starting May 18, 2016. Registration will be available by March 15.

An in-person workshop is planned for January 24-26, 2017. Registration will open September 16, 2016.

BR&E Group

BR&E Course Participants, November, 2014 - course sponsored by West Central Initiative, Fergus Falls

A healthy, vibrant local economy depends largely on the strength of existing businesses. Community leaders can help local businesses survive and grow. But how do you do that?

University of Minnesota Extension has offered business retention and expansion courses since 1996. This includes traditional in-person courses, fully online courses and a blended format that combined in-person and online learning. You can now take an all-online offering (over 8 weeks) or attend an in-person workshop (3 days elapsed time). Regardless of the course format, participants have gone on to conduct high quality programs in their communities or regions. The course is designed for economic and community development professionals, community leaders, and others who want to conduct a community-led BR&E effort.

BRE Course sample page

Sample page from our online BRE course

What happens when you take a community-based approach? Read about the success in Marshall, MN.

This BR&E Course development was funded in part by the Initiative Foundation, a regional foundation in Central Minnesota.

Past sponsors include: Initiative Foundation, West Central Initiative, Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Grow Minnesota!, and Economic Development Association of Minnesota.

Course participants practice interviewing skills with a real business owner

Course participants practice interviewing skills with a real business owner

Online course cost and schedule
The BR&E online course is a ten-week class scheduled for May 18 - July 28. The cost of the course is $500. There are also community team pricing options. Registration deadline TBD. For more information, contact Michael Darger at or 612-625-6246.

Community Team Discount
Community-led BR&E is all about teamwork, so it makes sense to send a team to this training if possible. To encourage this, we offer discounts for team attendance. A community team of two can register together for $750, and a community team of three to five individuals can register together for $1,000. (The discount is only for groups from a town or city, county, school district, or other groups of contiguous communities.) This discount is available for either the online or the in-person version of the course.

Certification Available from Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI)
BREI is the international association that promotes and educates about BR&E. For a certification and membership fee it will provide certification to persons successfully completing a University of Minnesota BR&E course. Learn more

Questions and Registration
Registration will be available soon. For more detailed information on the course, please see the BR&E Course Info Sheet (coming soon)

View course testimonials.

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