Share this article

Great Northern Development Corporation, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in conjunction with the Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program is hosting a business plan competition throughout a seven-county region in Northeastern Montana consisting of Valley, Garfield, McCone, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, and Daniels.  The goal of this event is to attract new entrepreneurs and support existing businesses in Northeastern Montana by uniting communities in a common goal of economic development.   GNDC and the MT DBE have donated $10,000 which will be awarded in two prize packages of $5,000; one to a startup business and one to an existing business.

SBDC Director Shandy Moran will be holding business plan development classes via Zoom.  Entrepreneurs planning to compete in the Minnow Tank Business Plan competition are encouraged to attend a class.  Class topics include Business Plan Basics, Marketing, and Small Business Financials.  Check the schedule below to register for a business plan development class.  If you are unable to attend a class please call GNDC to schedule an appointment with SBDC Director Shandy Moran at (406) 653-2590 ext. 203.  Minnow Tank business plan submissions are due to GNDC by 5:00 PM on September 30th.  Submissions can be mailed to GNDC at 233 Cascade Street or sent via e-mail to  Please hit download for a copy of the guidelines and application procedures to enter Minnow Tank.

The Minnow Tank finale will be held October 20th, 2020, at 4:30 PM following the Rise and Restore Small Business Summit at the Richland County Event Center in Sidney.  At the Minnow Tank event, fourteen finalists will present their business plan live to a panel of five judges – one judge being the audience!  Support your favorite entrepreneur by planning to attend the Minnow Tank finale on October 20th; your vote matters!  If you are a new or existing business interested in applying for Minnow Tank, or if you have questions about the event, contact Shandy Moran at (406) 653-2590 ext. 203.

Class Schedule

August 12th, 5:30-7:30 PM,

August 19th, 5:30-7:30 PM,

August 26th, 5:30-7:30 PM,