Amanda Blondeau

Amanda Blondeau

Job Quality Fellow, Class of 2018-19, and ELM² Fellow, Class of 2013, Economic Opportunities Program

Business Services Director, Northern Initiatives, Marquette, MI

Amanda Blondeau is the Director of Business Services for Northern Initiatives. Northern Initiatives provides capital and know-how to entrepreneurs in Michigan and the five border counties of Wisconsin. Business Services provides the “know-how” to start-up borrowers and growing businesses to be more knowledgeable and capable of building systems to support growth.

Amanda is the project leader for the development and implementation of Initiate, Northern Initiatives’ online business education portal, which has increased customers served by 20% per year. Initiate is licensed to six CDFIs to enhance their business advisory programs. In collaboration with these CDFIS, an Initiate Learning Community is helping to share best practices, drive ongoing innovation, and evaluate outcomes.

During her 15-year tenure at Northern Initiatives, she’s held multiple roles including Network Administrator, Information Technology Consultant, and Business Coach.

Amanda participated in industry cohorts including the FIELD at Aspen Institute’s Emerging Leaders of Microbusiness (squared), Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses CDFI Growth and Finance Collaboratives, and currently the Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Knowledge Network.

She’s a native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (Yooper) and currently telecommutes from Charlottesville, Virginia, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.

Amanda Blondeau is a member of the Job Quality Fellowship Class of 2018-19, as well as the Emerging Leaders in Microbusiness (ELM²) Fellowship Class of 2013. To learn more about the Job Quality Fellows, visit

The Job Quality Fellowship and ELM² Fellowship are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at

Bio updated September 2018.