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A magazine created to share stories, educate readers, and share opportunities to start and grow your business.

Read Our Latest Issue

Our latest issue of ACTIVATE Magazine highlights the amazing women we have the privilege of working with every day.  From various resources, business programs, and financing options that help women ACTIVATE their business, to inspiring stories of those who have done just that, this issue celebrates the best parts of the women owned businesses we know and love.


ACTIVATE Magazine Articles

Ask Dakota Business Lending – Issue 2

As a key resource for business owners, Dakota Business Lending wants to help you find the answers you need to reach your goals and fulfill your dreams. That is why we are answering YOUR questions about all things financing, entrepreneurship, and small business. This issue, let’s talk about the 5 W’s of business financing...
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Where to SCORE Free Business Assistance

Small business owners often struggle to find guidance from someone who knows what it’s like to walk in their shoes. SCORE seeks to fill that gap. By providing free and confidential mentoring to entrepreneurs across the nation, SCORE Mentors assist current and aspiring business owners with starting and growing their business…all with firsthand knowledge and experience...
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Using Their Superpowers for Good: A Look into Local Heroes who are Transforming North Dakota

What makes a superhero? Is it the cape? A cool name? A villain to fight against? We believe the real superheroes are made when they use their powers to better themselves, their families, and their communities. Lucky for us, we have a few right here in North Dakota who are working towards bettering our society…one small business at a time...
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Introducing More Resource Partners

It is very common for small business to, at some point, need assistance with formalizing business plans, forecasting, analyzing business financials, and other business ownership details. Fortunately, there are many FREE resources available to help put those pieces together for you. Here are some more entrepreneurial development resources for education, training, and technical assistance...
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Meet our DBL Board of Directors: Tonya Holmstrom

Tonya Holmstrom joined the Dakota Business Lending Board of Directors in July of 2019 and was recently appointed Chair of the Board in August of 2022. In 2019, she became a partner in Schmitz-Holmstrom, an accounting firm in Bismarck, ND, with over 15 years of public accounting experience under her belt and currently serves on several other boards throughout the state...
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Green Flag

Green Flag: A Successful Dakota Business Lending Borrower Featured in    “A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained.” – Shawn Hitchcock Ania Bartkowiak’s journey began when a trusted supervisor, Hettie Jans Wortelboer, saw something in her that she hadn’t seen in herself. She was working as…
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Asking the Right (& Tough) Questions

You’ve done your research, created a business plan, formulated financial projections, and are on your way to visit with your lender about financing options. You believe this new startup idea or expansion opportunity has the potential for success and are ready to take the next step forward. That’s when it happens: the lender asks you about the one thing you didn’t think about. You walk out of the office feeling defeated…with more work to do....
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ND Academy of Dance

ND Academy of Dance: A Successful Dakota Business Lending Borrower Featured in    Carina Schell was in first grade when she first laid eyes on a tutu. From that moment on, she began a journey that would soon become her lifelong career. She enrolled in ballet shortly after and continued to dance throughout her childhood.…
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