Latest News

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!
Visit BizJournals to read the article

Grocers are shifting towards a smaller and local model

December 12, 2017
How are large chain grocery stores adapting to the 21st century?
Visit The Columbus Dispatch to read the article

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?
Visit the CLE Foundation Blog to read the article

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
Visit the Columbus Dispatch to read the article

ECDI Columbus Newsletter November 2017

November 9, 2017
Check out the latest news!
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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.
Visit The City of Columbus to read the article

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!
Visit KeyBank to read the article

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. With other organizati
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Funding Your Small Business Venture

April 5, 2017
"While banks have slowly opened their wallets to entrepreneurs seeking loans of over $250,000, they don't cater to those requesting micro-loans, which are smaller in amount. That's where organizations such as ECDI come in," says Steve Fireman, President of ECDI. That's because ECDI, which has expand
Visit Successful Business News to read the article

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.
Visit Crain's Cleveland Business to read the article

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.
Visit Columbus Business First to read the article

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.
Visit Freshwater Cleveland to read the article

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.
Visit Columbus Chamber Of Commerce to read the article

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.
Visit Priceonomics to read the article

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.
Visit ECDI to read the article

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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What a Balance Sheet Reveals About a Small Business

June 9, 2015
A great resource for our clients.
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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.
Visit Fresh Water Cleveland to read the article

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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Uptown Toledo Gets Big Investment

March 18, 2015
The Arts Entrepreneurship Initiative is an innovative and unique program designed for creative entrepreneurs in need of training and capital to launch or sustain creative enterprises.
Visit Toledo News Now to read the article

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.
Visit Constant Contact to read the article

2014 Best Small Business Resource: ECDI

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