One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Neighborhood Development Center, St. Paul, MN
Contact(s): Mihailo Temali, Executive Director: (612) 291-2480
Purpose: To drive economic development in low-income, inner-city communities by developing the entrepreneurial talents of community residents

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) was created in 1993 by Western Initiatives for Neighborhood Development (WIND), a bank-owned community development corporation in St. Paul, MN. NDC and Neighborhood Partners, a coalition of neighborhood organizations who are NDC's primary contact with the community, view the entrepreneurial talent and energy within inner-city communities as one of the best resources to revitalize these communities. NDC's programs are an attempt to harness the potential of the people who already live in these communities. The goal is to help emerging entrepreneurs develop successful businesses that serve the community, and to help community groups build a stronger economy.

Program Operations

The Neighborhood Development Center offers neighborhood-based training, lending and technical support to residents of low-income, inner-city neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. NDC works with four racial and ethnic communities--Hmong, Latino, Somali, and American Indian--and eleven low-income neighborhoods in St. Paul and Minneapolis where household incomes are less than 80% of the area's median income. Many entrepreneurial residents have little or no formal business training and often face daunting barriers to success, including lack of education, language difficulties, cultural barriers and/or poor credit histories. NDC's training consists of 16 weeks of classroom and one-on-one sessions in the office of each Neighborhood Partner, with the goal of creating a written business plan by the end of the course, which can be used as an operational guide for a business or to approach financial institutions for funding. The 16 weeks consist of eight class sessions of two hours each, with six to 12 participants taking each class. NDC's Neighborhood Partners are integral to its program, conducting the outreach to the entrepreneurs, hosting the classes and providing support to the alumni.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

NDC has a $2 million loan fund available to qualified graduates of the training program. This neighborhood-based lending program has made more than $1.7 million in loans to 78 borrowers since 1993. NDC also offers technical support to help strengthen alumni businesses. More than 200 alumni are in business, with each business providing an average of three jobs and returning an average of $1,400 per month to the community. These businesses are promoting wealth creation among low-income, inner-city residents who are predominantly persons of color.

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