The Economic and Community Development Institute

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Ohio State University. Office of Outreach and Engagement

Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) is one of the nation's largest CDFI and SBA micro loan intermediary lenders serving all 88 Ohio counties, with offices in Columbus, Cleveland, Akron and Toledo. The organization's mission is to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change. Since its founding in 2004, ECDI's programs and services have grown into a comprehensive suite of programming designed to lead low-income Ohioans out of poverty.


IMPACT. 1: The Food Fort is a collaborative work space, equipped with a fully licensed commissary and a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen that supports start-up food-based businesses to reach new markets and expand. -- 2. The Economic and Community Development Institute serves low-income households through its micro-enterprise development and asset building programs, including micro-loans and matched IDA grants for business development, down payment assistance, and post-secondary education. -- 3. Located in Cleveland and Columbus, the WBC helps women become successful business owners, whether they are a start-up business or small business owners wishing to take it to the next level. The WBC offers the tools for success and is the only SBA-funded Women's Business Centers in Ohio.
OSU PARTNERS: Office of Outreach and Engagement; City and Regional Planning; John Glenn College of Public Affairs; Fisher College of Business
COMMUNITY PARTNERS: ECDI works with a diverse group of referral partners, including organizations that refer clients to us and those that provide supplemental training and technical assistance.
PRIMARY CONTACT: Valery Leibowitz (



Engaged Scholars, v. 3 (2015).