CRYSTAL, Minnesota (KARE) -- Employees at Independent Packing Services are not just building shipping crates they're building the future of Minnesota's economy.

Nearly 45 percent of the people who work at the Crystal-based company are minorities and that's by design, according to owner Prince Wallace. Almost three ago, he employed three people. Today, there are 55 workers on his payroll.

"I had a dream of becoming a business owner," he said.

The dream didn't come easy for the immigrant from the Bahamas. He acquired his first company, a collection agency, in his late 20s and soon realized he was in over his head.

"I thought I knew a lot, but once I got into business, I found out that I didn't know a lot in terms of how to run a business from inside," he said.

Wallace turned to the Metropolitan Economic Development Association for help. The nonprofit helps minority entrepreneurs like Wallace develop business plans and open doors that would otherwise be closed.

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