About UsThe mission of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES) is to encourage entrepreneurship through educational leadership, applied research, and insightful consulting.  The CRES will engage the students, faculty, and research facilities of the University of Minnesota in Crookston in order to stimulate the entrepreneurial culture and strengthen the economic vitality of northwest Minnesota.


In August 2010, the Business Department at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) received a congressionally directed grant from the US Department of Education for $550,000 to start a Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies at the University. Writing the grant was a collaborative effort between several faculty members in the Business Department including Kevin Cooper and Rachel Lundbohm along with Sue Brorson and Bruce Brorson. Congressman Collin Peterson played an integral leadership role in this entrepreneurial initiative and was supported by both Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. The CRES is currently housed in Dowell Hall 117 at UMC.

Core Functions of CRES

Provide services supporting development of small business and entrepreneurship in
Northwest Minnesota.

Program of work includes activities designed to advance entrepreneurship education

  • Multi-disciplinary Approach
  • Applicable to all disciplines

Conduct research on entrepreneurial topics

  • Supporting Faculty basic and applied research and outreach activities with a focus on improving regional economic growth
  • Connecting UMC Faculty resources and students with regional entrepreneurs and businesses (including ag-based economic development)
  • Technical assistance to regional entrepreneurs Example: Feasibility analysis, business planning, marketing and creative services, etc.

Educate the public about the value of entrepreneurial activities in Northwest Minnesota

  • Community presentations
  • K-12 presentations and activities
  • Entrepreneur boot-camp geared toward high school students
  • Projects, applied research and consulting for regional businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Short courses for enhancing the skill-set of regional entrepreneurs
  • Facilitate connections between regional businesses and entrepreneurs

Growing student entrepreneurial capacity through:

  • Enhanced curriculum
  • Internships with small entrepreneurial businesses
  • Class projects – experiential learning
  • Supporting and mentoring student entrepreneurial venture
  • Facilitate student driven entrepreneurial projects