WES Mariam Assefa Fund Grantee Partners

Neighborhood Development Center

Category: Skills and Supports

Amount: USD$200,000

Term: October 2020 – August 2022

Focus: Through four comprehensive and culturally competent programs—Entrepreneur Training, Business Lending, Technical Assistance, and Small Business Incubators—Neighborhood Development Center empowers immigrant entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities to transform their neighborhood economies from within.

About Neighborhood Development Center

Neighborhood Development Center is a community-based organization working primarily in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, which believes that residents in all communities have the talent, energy, and ideas to develop and revitalize their own neighborhoods through entrepreneurship. NDC believes that “concentrated poverty needs concentrated opportunity.” Its four programs—Entrepreneur Training, Business Lending, Technical Assistance, and Small Business Incubators—empower low-income neighborhood residents, primarily people of color and recent immigrants, to start and grow their own businesses, rise from poverty, and revitalize and transform their neighborhoods.

What type of work will the grant enable?

Building on its successful model in the Twin Cities, NDC is exploring opportunities to scale its work. NDC also supports economic development strategies in various rural communities, where it has introduced its place-based, low-income, entrepreneur-focused approach. In total, NDC has reached 110 communities in Greater Minnesota. St. Cloud has fully implemented NDC’s model, and Duluth, Red Lake, Lower Sioux, and Willmar are also working toward this goal.

Nationally, NDC leads the Build from Within Alliance, which provides peer learning opportunities to organizations across the country which are adopting and adapting the NDC model, including respected community-based groups in Detroit; Philadelphia; Syracuse, N.Y.; Wilmington, Del.; St. Cloud, Minn.; Anchorage; Houston; and Miami.

Why is this work important?

NDC’s comprehensive model links the energy and talent of people to the vitality of place, creating a critical mass of visible entrepreneurship, jobs, role models, wealth and well-being, and safe family and community gathering places. This model represents a visible and accessible concentration of opportunity and hope for all neighborhood residents, including refugees and immigrants, and a practical, proven way of addressing economic disparities in low-income communities.

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