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Supporting Business Succession & Transition: Lessons Learned from Minnesota


There are about 50,000 employer businesses owned by people over 55 years old in Minnesota. Or about 50% of the businesses in the state. In this webinar, guest presenter, Michael Darger, describes efforts at the University of Minnesota Extension to work across organizations to raise awareness among business owners and create support for business succession and transition (BST) planning in rural areas.

Webinar Recording

Presenter Slides


Our Presenter

Michael Darger is a community economics specialist who manages UMN Extension’s Connecting Businesses and Community Program. His current education and research interest is business succession and transition (BST). He is facilitating a new BST ecosystem group across Minnesota and offers a new online course for Minnesota business owners to prepare their eventual exit strategy. A related interest is the conversion of businesses to employee-owned businesses such as ESOPs, cooperatives, or employee ownership trusts. He also teaches Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) courses to economic development audiences and provides BRE consulting and applied research for Minnesota communities. He has served on the boards of economic and community development organizations and edited a book in 2019 Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) A Practical Approach to Economic Development (Rutledge). He serves on the board of the Northeast Investment Co-op in Minneapolis.

This webinar is co-sponsored by:

This webinar was made possible through a gift from Compeer Financial and AgCountry Farm Credit Services to support a partnership with the University of Minnesota-Extension focused on Rural Entrepreneurship.

And thank you to the United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. This webinar was made possible, in part, by a grant from the US EDA in support of the Economic Development Administration University Center at the Division of Extension, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations are those of the presenter and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, Compeer Financial, or AgCountry.

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