November 2017
In This Edition: 
Upcoming Training
Giving Season
Client Spotlight: Lejuan Coleman
Women's Business Center
Food Fort
We're Hiring
Predatory Lending Survey
Upcoming Training
Give Back this Season!
Small Business Saturday
#ShopSmall on Saturday, November 25th! It's easy to get caught up in the deals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but don't forget your local small business owners! Show them your support on Small Business Saturday!
Giving Tuesday
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. Everyone, anywhere, can participate!

Tuesday, November 28th make a donation to the non-profit organization in your community!

Client Spotlight: Lejuan Coleman
Lejuan Coleman is the owner of IResolve Fitness Club, a fitness center dedicated to inspiring and providing second chances to community members.

As a teen, Coleman spent time in a juvenile detention center, which turned his life around. After serving his sentence, Coleman moved to Columbus, OH, where he became a certified personal trainer. From 2004 to 2008, he worked in the private sector for corporations such as Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where he provided group fitness sessions to employees. With a growing client base, Coleman decided to break out on his own.

In 2009, Coleman came to ECDI seeking financing for equipment he needed to fulfill his dream. After completing entrepreneurial readiness and business plan clinics offered through ECDI’s Business Innovation Center (BIC), Coleman was awarded a $15,000 loan to help purchase the equipment needed to get his gym off the ground. After operating IResolve successfully for four years, Coleman came back to ECDI, receiving additional capital to expand his services.

“I have three employees – one who’s an ex-offender who needed a second chance, and two others – one a budding entrepreneur herself,” Coleman says. “It’s taken a lot of patience and faith to get to where I am today. If you’re not willing to put the hard work in, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur.”

Women's Business Centers of Ohio
The Women's Business Center of Northern Ohio provides women entrepreneurs the tools and resources necessary to build a successful, sustainable business. 

Have you joined?
Click here  to learn the benefits of membership!

Food Fort
Interested in or already have a food-based business? 

ECDI's Food Fort provides members, an incubator and commissary kitchen to start and expand their business. 

The Food Fort Membership Includes:
  • Certified food truck hub
  • Large food prep space
  • Training and networking

Contact  Terry Traster  for membership information!
Best Bites: Comfort Food
The Food Fort was in the spotlight at the Columbus Underground's Best Bites: Comfort Food! The Columbus foodies came out to support the local eats scene which featured Food Fort Clients: Off the Beaten Path Coffee and Barroluco Argentine!

We're Hiring
ECDI's Columbus office is hiring:

For the full job postings and position requirements please  click here!

All resumes can be directed to
Predatory Lending Survey
As an advocate for small business owners, it is important to address the notorious practices of online predatory lenders. As banks lend less to entrepreneurs, we've witnessed an increase in the amount of financial technology companies - "FinTech" lenders such as Kabbage, OnDeck, and Can Capital that promise quick cash to small business owners. Since these lenders are not considered traditional financial institutions, they are not regulated by the FDIC, and therefore, are not required to provide statistics that demonstrate if these loans are actually beneficial to the small business owners they target. 
In order to better understand incidences and their severity, we need your feedback! 

All respondents will be entered into a drawing to receive a FREE $100 VISA gift card, courtesy of ECDI, hence, why we require an email address so we can notify the winners at the conclusion of the survey. 
The Economic & Community Development Institute is a Columbus, Ohio-based 501(c)(3) non-profit economic development organization founded in 2004. As the third largest US SBA intermediary micro-lender and a U.S. Treasury designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), ECDI's mission is to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change. Since 2004, ECDI has assisted over 10,800 individuals, disbursed over $40 million through over 1,900 loans, and created and retained over 7,100 jobs via our comprehensive suite of programs available through our offices in Columbus, Cleveland, and Akron, Ohio. Our programs and services have been supported by over $69 million in federal, state, local and private funds, and have proven to spur local economic development. How do we do this? We invest, educate, and innovate with the businesses and people who are inspired and who inspire us.
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.

The WBC is "funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration."
ECDI Columbus • 1655 Old Leonard Ave., Columbus, OH 43219 • 614.559.0115