Northwest SBDC, Soyko International Recognized by SBA!

By May 20, 2022 No Comments

Northwest SBDC is ‘leading the way’!

The Northwest Small Business Development
Center has had an exciting spring!

Not only was the Northwest SBDC recognized as the Minnesota 2022 SBDC Center of Excellence, but Soyko International Inc. – one of the Northwest SDBC clients – was honored as the Minnesota Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year.

Pictured are, from left: Northwest SBDC consultants Colleen Falk, Jaimee Meyer, Deb McGregor-Plfeger, and Grant Oppegaard; Mic McCrory, Northwest SBDC coordinator; Philip Knutson, Northwest SBDC regional director; Brian McDonald, Minnesota’s SBA district director; and Bruce Strong, state director of the SBDC.

Northwest SBDC celebrated as Center of Excellence

The Northwest SBDC, which is hosted by the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, provides free information, confidential counseling, and one-on-one support to start, build and grow local businesses.

In announcing the award, the U.S. Small Business Administration noted that the Northwest SBDC provides outstanding quality business and computer training seminars and workshops to businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the region to enhance the knowledge and increase efficiencies of area businesses.

In 2021, the Northwest SBDC assisted 811 small businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them access over $17 million in capital and supporting nearly 1,600 jobs.

“Entrepreneurs in Minnesota are truly fortunate to have a strong Small Business Development Center network here to work with,” said Brian McDonald, Minnesota’s SBA district director. “The team at the Northwest SBDC is leading the way with exemplary dedication to small businesses in their region demonstrating their expertise to a variety of challenging business issues.”

Brian McDonald, SBA’s Minnesota district director, awards Jade In, owner of Soyko International Inc., with the Minnesota Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year.

Soyko is Minority-Owned Business of the Year

Soyko International was named the Minnesota Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year, as the U.S. Small Business Administration recognized the Gary-based business for its success in producing and exporting non-GMO and organic soybeans, as well as small grains, with markets in South Korea, Japan, Canada and Mexico.

“Minority business owners bring a wealth of diverse ideas and experiences to the marketplace,” said Brian McDonald, SBA’s Minnesota district director. “We are celebrating Soyko International, led by owner Jade In, for her success in taking our homegrown products to overseas markets.”

Jade In grew up on a family farm in South Korea, where her family were rice farmers. She came to the U.S. for high school and received her bio-chemistry degree at Denver University. In the late 1990s, she visited Gary on a business trip and saw how large, rich and beautiful the region was. In 2000, she established J&J Corporation, a company working with the domestic growth, sales and export of domestic grains.

Seeing the potential in the Gary area, in 2009 her corporation took over Circle C Seeds, renaming it to Soyko International Inc. Soyko, which currently has 12 employees, has since 2010 completed three expansions in facilities and land, and has a fourth expansion in the works.

The Northwest SBDC, which nominated Soyko for the award, worked with the company on a $3.8 million expansion that began in 2019. The company has also benefited from SBA-backed financing.