Latest News

Innovation for Empowerment at the Women’s Business Center of Ohio

June 27, 2019
Welcome Shaundretta Boykins as the Director of the WBC of Central Ohio!
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Burton D. Morgan

June 25, 2019
Thank you Burton D. Morgan for your continued support!
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ECDI Makes its Mark on the Community

May 30, 2019
Summertime is here! Check out how ECDI and its clients are making a splash around Columbus, helping businesses and the community!
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ECDI Builds an Oasis in a Food Desert

April 25, 2019
Check out this story on ECDI's new community garden, serving clients, employees, and the Devon Triangle community!
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ECDI Expands Food Fort to Serve More Clients

March 28, 2019
To keep up with the high demand and to serve more Columbus food entrepreneurs, ECDI is building a second facility, Food Fort 2.0, to better accommodate existing Food Fort clients that have outgrown the current facility.
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Moving the Needle for Minority Women-Owned Businesses

February 28, 2019
With support from key partners, ECDI Women's Business Centers of Ohio (WBC) have worked to move the needle in the direction of progress.
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Mansa Men Program Shines a Light on the Lives of Young Black Men

January 24, 2019
ECDI recently sat down with Carnell and Malik Willoughby to learn about their latest project, Mansa Men.
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Profile: Inna Kinney, Founder and CEO, Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)

January 14, 2019
ECDI Founder and CEO sat down with IFF, the largest CDFI in the midwest to discuss ECDIs growth in Ohio.
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Barroluco Opens Downtown Brick and Mortar Location

November 29, 2018
Learn more about ECDI's successful client Barroluco!
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ECDI Promotes Nicole Liatos to Director of the Women's Business Center of Northern Ohio

October 25, 2018
Meet Nicole!
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ECDI and the SBA Celebrate Veterans in November

October 25, 2018
This year, there will be a host of free events available to veterans who fall into these categories.
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JPMorgan Chase Foundation target nine core neighborhoods in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, in collaboration with local organizations.

October 12, 2018
Funded by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, OH3C will target nine core city neighborhoods within Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. The shared community mission is to emerge as inclusive communities that provide housing choices for people at all income levels, as well as thriving business districts.
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JPMorgan Chase Announces $3 Million Grant to Create Local CDFI Collaboration in Ohio's Three Largest Cities

October 3, 2018
JPMorgan Chase has announced the OH3C Collaborative, a $3 million, three-year grant to fund a collaboration between four of Ohio’s strongest community development financial institutions working across Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.
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Small Business Solutions: ECDI's Quick Loan Product

September 27, 2018
Learn about ECDI's new Loan package for small businesses!
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Cousins Army Navy and Survival Supply Returns to University District!

August 23, 2018
ECDI is excited to work with this long time staple of the Columbus community!
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ECDI receives $200k award to support small business!

August 16, 2018
Microlender ECDI gets $200,000 grant from Wells Fargo to invest in minority-owned businesses
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Microlender ECDI gets grant to continue helping minority owned businesses!

August 16, 2018
Thanks to the Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Award, ECDI can continue its mission!
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ECDI deepens commitment to lend to minority-owned small businesses

August 13, 2018
Economic & Community Development Institute has deepened its commitment to diverse hiring and microlending to minority-owned, and specifically black-owned, small businesses.
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WBC of Ohio welcomes Ramona Mills as Director!

July 27, 2018
As the new Director of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Central Ohio, a branch of the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), Mills is dedicated to providing Columbus women entrepreneurs with the supportive home base that she wishes she would have known about during her past life in
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WBC Central Ohio Welcomes Ramona Mills as New Director

July 26, 2018
Meet Ramona Mills!
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Ohio Organization Awarded $200,000 from Wells Fargo to Support Diverse Small Businesses

July 12, 2018

ECDI is one of 12 organizations nationwide to receive funds as part of Diverse Community Capital program

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ECDI Celebrating Small Business Success with Comedy Fundraising Event (Postponed)

June 28, 2018
Read about ECDI's Small business comedy fundraising event!
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Rokki Bonner: Navigating the World of Entrepreneurship Takes Muscle

May 24, 2018
Learn about ECDI's fitness client, Personal Fitness Navigators
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Too Good Eats: The Cool (And Healthy) Way to Snack

April 26, 2018
Check out some of ECDI's healthy and unique food-based clientele!
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The WBC Welcomes Sabra Kershaw as Board Chair!

April 12, 2018
Sabra Kershaw has been elected Board Chair for the Women's Business Centers of Ohio!
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The WBC Expands to Cincinnati!

April 6, 2018
The WBC brings access to capital to women in Cincinnati!
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Congratulations to our Executive Director, Danielle Sydnor!

April 3, 2018
Executive Director of Northern Ohio has been named one of the YWCA's Distinguished Young Woman Awards!
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Food Fort 2.0!

March 27, 2018
ECDI is expanding the Food Fort!
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WBC Gallery Wall Grand Opening to Feature Community-Focused Local Artist

March 22, 2018
See how the WBC is supporting local artists in the community
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Huntington National Bank Highlights ECDI!

March 21, 2018

As part of their ongoing commitment to community reinvestment, Huntington National Bank spotlights the work of ECDI and our clients in their annual report!

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OhioMBE Newsletter Updates!

March 9, 2018
Spread the news about your business!
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SBA Columbus District Office Supports the WBC!

March 8, 2018
The WBC is here to support women in all aspects of business, through coaching, training, and financing!
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Local Tea Company Finds Recipe for Sweet Success

February 22, 2018
See how Jackie Chapman, owner of JC's Sweet Ice Tea and successful African-American entrepreneur who has benefited from ECDI's many services
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New pet ambulance serving the Cleveland area!

February 14, 2018
ECDI and WBC member Yolanda takes her passion for animals, and brings peace and security to pet owners in Cleveland.
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Kamala Colbert: Utilizing ECDI’s Capital For Construction Program to Achieve Her Entrepreneurial Dreams

January 25, 2018
Here the inspiring story of Kamala Colbert, who worked with ECDI to achieve her entrepreneurial dreams!
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Survey finds micro business mismatch

January 6, 2018
ECDI works to provide entrepreneurs with the capital they need to grow a business.
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Inspiring Children through Education

January 3, 2018
Jerzell Pierre-Louis uses her entrepreneurial skillset to benefit young lives.
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ECDI's Akropreneur Sima Arshadi's Business Blooms in Akron

January 3, 2018
Sima Arshadi came to America as a refugee, and took her love of art and turned it into a business.
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ECDI Named Top Small Biz Resource in Columbus for 2017

January 2, 2018
Deploying millions of dollars in loans and assisting thousands of entrepreneurs, ECDI was once again voted the Top Small Business Resource in Columbus. A one-stop-shop for small business owners, ECDI provides the educational resources to funding that entrepreneurs need to launch and grow their enter
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Seven Studios Opens a Second Studio

December 12, 2017
ECDI client Julie Wilkes, used her second chance at life to start a health and wellness business!
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Grocers are shifting towards a smaller and local model

December 12, 2017
How are large chain grocery stores adapting to the 21st century?
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Meet Central Ohio's Bankable Restaurateur!

December 1, 2017
Brad Hobbs takes on the restaurant world in Columbus!
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The Cleveland Foundation Spotlights ECDI's ENCORE Program!

November 14, 2017
Did you know that women over the age of 50 are one of the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs?
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YWCA Pics 7 Women of Achievement Winners!

November 14, 2017
Thrilled to see Nancy Tidwell recognized by YWCA Columbus for her work in "eliminating racism, empowering women." Tidwell has been a vital partner in establishing our Construction Capitalization Program, which breaks down financing barriers for minority-owned subcontracting firms, so they can bid on
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ECDI Columbus Newsletter November 2017

November 9, 2017
Check out the latest news!
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Minority-Owned Subcontractors Utilizing ECDI'S Innovative "Capital For Construction" Program

September 28, 2017
Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI), in partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co., recently launched a new program titled “Capital For Construction” that addresses financing gaps minority-owned construction subcontractors face when submitting bids for large-scale construction contracts.
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Capital for Construction: ECDI Introduces MBE Program

August 3, 2017
ECDI's MBE program to address financing gaps for minority-owned subcontractors.
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ECDI Celebrates The Work Of Departed Colleague James Grills

June 23, 2017
One of ECDIs most admired employees, James brought an infectious energy and dedication to his work environment that left a lasting impression on anyone that was fortunate enough to cross paths with him in life.
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City of Columbus Minority and Woman Business Enterprise Disparity Study Business Survey

June 14, 2017
The City of Columbus needs your help in a study to determine whether local, Minority and Woman Business Enterprises (M/WBE) have had equal access to contracting opportunities. Your participation in this short survey will provide valuable information that will be utilized for the Study.
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City of Cleveland: $25M Neighborhood Transformation Initiative

May 10, 2017
ECDI is excited to partner with the City of Cleveland on promoting economic development!
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Embracing World Neighbors: Living an Ohioan's Life

May 8, 2017
Read the inspiring story of our client Walid Ali!
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Ohio Women-owned Businesses start and grow with help from the WBC!

May 4, 2017
The WBC in Northern Ohio is doing incredible work with female entrepreneurs in the Cleveland area. One of our partners, KeyBank wrote an in-depth feature on the triumphs of our WBC members!
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Columbus Aims To Reduce Poverty Through Targeted Neighborhood Development Plans

April 27, 2017
For over a decade, ECDI has proven that target neighborhood investments work. ECDI's success investing in small businesses has brought hundreds of job opportunities to neighborhoods like the Hilltop, Linden, and Weinland Park, spurring job growth in areas that need it the most.
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ECDI, Women Business Center move offices into Akron Global Business Accelerator

March 30, 2017
The WBC extends it's service footprint to Akron, moving into ECDI Akron's new location within the Akron Global Business Accelerator.
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ECDI founder: In wake of Trump's travel ban, consider spending money at an immigrant-owned business

February 8, 2017
ECDI Founder Inna Kinney encourages everyone to support immigrant-owned businesses.
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From minding the ledgers to urban farming: The Dealership is where businesses go to grow

January 12, 2017
The Dealership, a Cleveland-based co-working space, brings entrepreneurs together.
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Why I Love Columbus: My Evolving, Dynamic Hometown featuring ECDI President Steve Fireman

November 8, 2016
ECDI President Steve Fireman reflects on why he loves his hometown, offering insight on his personal tastes of the city, as well as the dynamic environment it creates for business, both large and small.
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The Dealership Debuts a Co-work Community for Entrepreneurs

November 4, 2016
ECDI Cleveland debuts The Dealership, a co-work, event and office space for entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, and small businesses.
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The United States Of Refugees

October 21, 2016
Ohio acts as a beacon for refugees due to its excellent resettlement agencies across that state. ECDI continues to serve the local refugee communities through its services provided, enhancing the lives of those fleeing in times of strife.
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ECDI awarded over $3.4 million in federal grants to create long-lasting economic impact statewide

October 20, 2016
The Economic & Community Development Institute will increase its lending capacity to serve Ohio's small business owners while also making enhancements to the Food Fort, ECDI's food-based business incubator.
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ECDI Cleveland lends more than $530,000 to small businesses

August 2, 2016
The Economic and Community Development Institute reported that it made more than $530,000 in loans in the second quarter of 2016 to 21 Cleveland-area businesses.
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Register for Startup Storytellers on April 6 2016

March 14, 2016
The Path of the Legend will bring the community together for one night in the Columbus Museum of Art to explore the inspiring stories of legendary, leading and emerging entrepreneurs across industries. Register today at
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For the third year in a row, ECDI is the best Small Business Resource in Columbus!

December 28, 2015
ECDI is honored to win The Metropreneur's "Best Small Business Resource in Columbus" for the third year in a row! The ECDI family, including staff, generous funders, partners, and most importantly, all the local entrepreneurs who've come through ECDI's doors, have helped ensure ECDI's success.
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Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Foundation contribute nearly $2.2 million to ECDI county loan program

September 3, 2015
Cuyahoga County and the Cleveland Foundation are putting nearly $2.2 million into a county loan program run by the Economic & Community Development Institute, a Columbus microlending nonprofit with a growing presence in Cleveland.
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Chase grants of $300K to help food-based, Big Data entrepeneurs

July 7, 2015
We are excited to receive funding from JP Morgan Chase & Co. to support our on-site small business acceleration programs.
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ECDI closes funding gap with loans to Summit County small businesses

June 11, 2015
Chris Faircloth, ECDI Akron Relationship Manager, discusses ECDI's success in the Akron Market.
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The Modern Southern Table Wins The Food Fort's First-Ever Fried Chicken Throwdown

May 28, 2015
On May 14, The Food Forts campus was transformed into a culinary battleground, pitting three of Columbus' best-kept southern-style secrets against each other in The Food Fort's first-ever Fried Chicken Throwdown.
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5K run to honor Jaycees member who died at 35

April 21, 2015
The group decided to name its 5K after Martin, and donate the proceeds to a cause he was passionate about - the Economic Community Development Institute in Columbus. Martin was working for the small business administration microlender, which provides loans and educational resources to small business
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Refugees build new lives and businesses in Cleveland

April 14, 2015
Rebecca Mayhew, Relationship Manager at ECDI, discusses the refugee population in Cleveland and the demand for Capital.
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Columbus Set to Launch Pilot Program Bringing Food Trucks & Carts to the Hungry Masses

March 27, 2015
The City Of Columbus is ready to unveil its pilot program that will finally grant food trucks & carts access to a number of coveted, city-owned spots.
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Ohio entrepreneurs to give business pitch for a chance to win $30,000 in prize money

March 20, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five contestants in the 2015 InnovateHER business challenge will compete for a chance to win $30,000 in prize money at 6:00 p.m. Monday, March 23, 2015, at the Economic & Community Development Institute’s Fifth Third Bank Learning Lab, 1611 Old Leonard Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43219.

Contestants will make a live marketing pitch to a panel of judges on how their product or service helps impact and empower the lives of women and...
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Blu Olive "Pop-Up" at Hey Hey Bar & Grill

January 22, 2015
Blu Olive's pop-up reinvents the way people think about pop-ups!
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ECDI Knight Foundation Award Helps Akron Entrepreneurs Expand Their Businesses

January 9, 2015
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today that the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) will receive $250,000 in new funding for their Akron Office which opened in November 2014.
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2014 Best Small Business Resource: ECDI

January 1, 2015
ECDI was once again voted best small business resource in 2014.
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