Get to know NEON

Our start-up story

Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) began working to advance the efforts of underserved entrepreneurs in the community a decade ago. Launched in 2006 with grant from NorthWay Community Trust, NEON used its talents and offerings to build and support Northside businesses owned by lower-income Northside residents.


NEON was one of six organizations working collaboratively to provide entrepreneur training. Early goals were quickly met as the collaborative tripled the volume of training and business lending activities in the area in less than three years. The collaborative remained intact until 2009 and some of the early collaborators still play key roles with NEON as "Network Partners" today.​

Our Mission

NEON's mission is to build wealth for low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs in North Minneapolis and surrounding communities. 

Our Vision

NEON's vision is to transform North Minneapolis and the surrounding area into a prosperous, visible, sustainable, and highly-diverse multi-cultural community of entrepreneurs.

What we value

NEON strives for the best customer service in the world, relentless pursuit of excellence, and respect for the individual. 

  • Small business ownership is a viable path for many low-income residents to generate income and wealth for themselves and their families.

  • New business development is a desired strategy toward the physical and economic revitalization of north Minneapolis.

  • To the greatest extent feasible, Northside residents should have an ownership stake in new businesses in their neighborhoods.

  • To be successful, new business development should place an emphasis on honesty, trust, dignity, and integrity within the business community, which is best shown by “meeting people where they are,” with responsive approaches and customized solutions that respect the individual.

  • In working collaboratively with existing organizations to leverage each other’s talents and abilities to maximize investment in entrepreneur-serving organizations within the Twin Cities region.

  • In supporting diversity and inclusion within the business community and welcoming innovative ideas.