Meet Robyn Cruey. She's one of 10 Minnesotans you're going to hear a lot about in the next 10 days.
They are all featured in Invest in Minnesota's 10 Ways in 10 Days campaign that launches today. It highlights how fairly raised revenue and state investments benefit all Minnesotans. Invest in Minnesota, a coalition of faith, labor and nonprofit organizations, believes it's time for Minnesota to raise revenues fairly and invest in prosperity for all, after a decade of deep budget cuts.
For the next 10 business days, you're going to meet 10 Minnesotans whose lives have been changed because of state investments.
Robyn Cruey is the first of these.
Robyn is a small business owner and mother of two young children.
She owns I Heart Kids' Art, an art studio for young children in Minneapolis. "I opened my own business because like so many women who stay home with their kids for a few years, I couldn't find a job when I was ready to return to work," she says.
Robyn turned to WomenVenture, a nonprofit that assists women to create and build their own businesses.
"Owning your own business is very daunting and risky," she says. "I couldn’t have done it without WomenVenture’s training, mentoring and skill development programs. WomenVenture also helped me get a small business loan, which enabled me to move into a better space and build my business. WomenVenture couldn't help women entrepreneurs like me without the support of grants from Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)."
Robyn says she's a prime example of the benefits of state investments in small business.
She started her own business when she couldn't find a job after staying home with her two young children for several years. Robyn says she isn't alone: many mothers cannot find employment when they are ready to return to the workforce.
"I have a successful business that helps provide for my family, helps kids learn through art, and creates jobs," she says. "As a small business owner, I am happy to pay my fair share in taxes and I think everyone should do the same."