Mission: Ecdi mission is to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change. Ecdi provides a number of critical and valuable services to low and moderate income people throughout the state of ohio.
Programs: Access to capital and technical assistance:ecdi offers small business loans ranging from $500 to $350,000. The businesses served by ecdi often lack the type of cash flow, collateral, and other requirements to qualify for conventional financing. Ecdi accepts non-traditional collateral, and can provide custom repayment and deferred payment schedules to enable businesses with sound plans and borrowing capacity to obtain responsible and affordable financing to meet their needs. Ecdi provides small business development services in the form of one on-one technical assistance, both before and after loan closings. Technical assistance includes capability and feasibility assessments, assessment of credit worthiness, assistance with credit issues, solidifying business plans, on-site visits, and financial statement review. Partnerships created through technical assistance result in higher rates of business success and reduced risk of loan default. During fiscal year 2017, ecdi provided technical assistance services to over 2,200 individuals and loaned approximately $5. 4 million in capital through 244 loan disbursements. The loan disbursements consisted of 54% to minority-owned businesses, 53% to low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs, and 39% to women-owned businesses. The loans and technical assistance provided by ecdi resulted in approximately 920 jobs created or retained in the state of ohio. Training and incubation:ecdi educational offerings cover a wide range of topics, from entry-level introductory courses to higher-level offerings, designed for entrepreneurs ready to commercialize their business idea or expand their existing business. Additional offerings include workshops and classes covering a wide range of business related topics and industries. Ecdi's business innovation center (bic), which houses its women's business center (wbc), serving the central ohio and northern ohio markets through training, technical assistance, and co-working amenities. The wbc, is the only sba-funded center of its kind in ohio, with a mission to empower women entrepreneurs with resources and tools to create strong sustainable businesses. Ecdi's food fort is an innovative food-based business incubator and accelerator in columbus. A haven for food truck owners, bakers, and catering clients, the licensed facility includes two commercial kitchens, a dry storage area, walk-in coolers and freezers, and a large food prep area, enabling the food fort to house a cluster of food-based entrepreneurs looking to develop their culinary talents. Additionally, staff provide clients with food industry-specific training, as well as networking opportunities to increase entrepreneurial access to new markets. During fiscal year 2017, over 1,500 participants attended ecdi workshops, networking events, and training, and approximately 67 entrepreneurs were served through ecdi's food fort.