Neighborhood Development Center and U7’s small businesses support model replicated in 6 cities

March 16, 2016

By Isabel Chanslor, Neighborhood Development Center


Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) is currently sharing and collaborating with groups across the country.  This work focuses on its model of “building neighborhood economies from within” and on the U7 model of business mitigation services around transportation projects developed for small businesses on the Green Line.

NDC’s tested models of placed-based community and economic development is of great interest to other organizations as far apart as Detroit, Syracuse, Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans and Albuquerque. Many of these organizations have either already visited the Twin Cities or NDC staff have been to their locations. For some time now, NDC’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Mihailo Temali, has been traveling to different cities meeting community leaders to share NDC’s values, mission and outcomes. Through these efforts, NDC has met like-minded leaders who have the same goal: to increase the economic and social impact in low-income neighborhoods driven by neighborhood entrepreneurs. Or, as Temali has so greatly put it: “concentrated poverty needs concentrated investment!”

Since 1993, NDC has stayed true and steady in its work to provide neighborhood underground entrepreneurs the tools needed to start and grow their business ideas. The entrepreneurs engaged in NDC’s programs use their own ideas, skills and energy to open businesses, fill vacant storefronts, serve as community leaders and most importantly, increase their family’s wealth.  After decades of on the ground experience providing business plan training, one-on-one technical assistance, lending, and incubator spaces, NDC is sharing what they know.  NDC would like to assist other cities in their efforts to create eco-systems of entrepreneurship that serve neighborhoods that have and continue to experience decades of disinvestment and marginalization. Most of the groups NDC is working with on a national level are interested in all aspects of its model, including how NDC integrates its training classes with lending, technical assistance and real estate development.

A few of the organizations working to bring NDC’s models to their community are:

ProsperUS Detroit works to revitalize neighborhoods by concentrating micro-enterprise development in low-income immigrant and minority neighborhoods. In 2012, ProsperUs Detroit replicated the NDC model and have since trained hundreds of entrepreneurs and provide micro-loans to business start-ups. 

CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity based in Syracuse, New York. CenterState is an economic development and business leadership organization and chamber of commerce. By this spring, CenterState will be implementing NDC’s model utilizing NDC’s Plan It! Entrepreneurship Training, Business Lab programs and lending strategies in a number of neighborhoods.

Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians connects newly arrived immigrants to economic opportunities in the region. The Welcoming Center is implementing NDC’s Plan It! Entrepreneurship Training Program this spring in two low-income neighborhoods.

The City of Albuquerque is in the very beginnings of an approved bus rapid transit project that will be built along their Central Corridor. The city has taken on NDC’s U7 model and has already began their work on the ground working with individual businesses in February. The city may also be interested in implementing NDC’s full model of community development.