MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses in our state employ about 200,000 people.

We also rank number one in the country in the number of start-ups, and the reason for this ranking?

The continued success of programs, like Start Up Minot.

About a year ago the Minot Chamber of Commerce wanted to do something for more than just our local businesses and start something for entrepreneurs in the area.

Start Up Minot Academy provides networking and business opportunities for start-up businesses in Minot.

“We think that both that class and the networking event are great tools for entrepreneurs, for new businesses to use to grow and strengthen themselves,” said Minot Chamber of Commerce EDC Economic Development Specialist, Mark Lyman.

Another part of this program is a 10-week course where entrepreneurs can take a deeper dive into their business plan such as marketing and understanding their margins.

While learning the ins and outs of starting a business, guest speakers such as Dorothy Henke from Dot’s Pretzels also help entrepreneurs navigate their way through challenges.

“So we’re hoping to give them the different tools that they need. This kind of course gives them the basic understanding that they need to run a business,” added Lyman.

Minot Chamber of Commerce understands that local businesses are the backbone of the community, and want to ensure that Minot maintains a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“This country is run by small businesses, it’s run by people who employ two people, or 10 people, or 50 people. Those are all small businesses but a lot of those people are just passionate about what they do, they aren’t necessarily passionate about running their business,” said Lyman.

Each class does require a small fee.

And with the success they’re seeing so far this year, Start Up Minot will have more classes in the coming year.

Start Up Minot is open to all and takes place on the second Thursday of every month at 7:30 in the morning.

For more information on this program please visit the Minot Chamber of Commerce website.