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Extension > Community > Business Retention & Expansion > BR&E Course

BR&E Course

Business retention and expansion in your community

Our course offers in-person or online training in BR&E strategies

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

University of Minnesota Extension has offered business retention and expansion courses since 1996. This has included traditional in-person courses, blended courses, and fully online courses. You can now take an all-online offering (over 8 weeks) or attend an in-person workshop (3 days elapsed time) and learn how to conduct high quality programs in your community or region.

The course is designed for economic and community development professionals and stakeholders, community leaders, and others who want to conduct a community-led BR&E effort.

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

Review our BR&E Course flyer (PDF) for an overview of our 2018 BR&E courses, both online and in-person versions.

Register for a Course

Dates Format Registration
Jan. 24–Mar. 28, 2018 Online

Registration Closed

Sept. 26– Nov. 28, 2018 Online

To be announced

Which Course is Right for Me?

  • Do you need to get away from everything at home and the office in order to focus?
  • Do you learn well by listening and through live group discussions?
  • Do you like working with small groups?
  • Do you prefer binge learning?

If most of these are true, then the in-person course is probably a good bet.

Learn More About In-Person Course

  • Do you like to learn one section at a time and have the opportunity to go deeper if you want?
  • Do you like reading, writing and seeing videos on a computer?
  • Are you OK with group learning but prefer learning quietly by yourself?
  • Most importantly, are you able to discipline yourself to do weekly assignments even though you're not going away on a trip to take a course?

If these are mostly true, then the online course is probably a good bet.

Learn More About Online Course

Hear from Past Participants

The BRE Class was highly informative and applicable to my daily work in economic development. Learning the history, theory and practice of BRE has positively impacted my effectiveness as a business developer as I engage with employers in our community.
Josh MacInnes (Duluth, Minnesota)

Read more course testimonials

Meet the Course Instructors

Michael Darger and John Bennett are instructors for this course.

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