Equipping Latinos And Other DC And Baltimore Metro Area Residents With Skills And Financial Tools To Create A Better Future For Their Families And Communities

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Join LEDC and the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GWHCC) for a bilingual summer networking event! You will receive key tips to network and sell your business, gain insight from a panel of business owners and connect with one another for opportunities to collaborate and grow the small business community in DC. 


LEDC Presents:

Break The Digital Barrier: Smart Business Solutions For You!

2017 Speed Coaching Event

Join us for an evening of high-impact, 20 minute coaching sessions with experts in tech- and cloud- based solutions for small business!

Learn about useful online tools and applications to optimize your business operations. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Social media,
  • Search engine optimization,
  • Website development, and
  • Customer relationship management

Cost: Free

Register: RSVP via the event page on LEDC's website


LEDC Presenta:

Rompa La Barrera Digital: ¡Soluciones Inteligentes Para Su Negocio!

Evento de Asesoría Rápida 2017

¡Venga para una noche de asesoría rápida de alto impacto con expertos en soluciones para pequeños negocios!

Entérese de soluciones basadas en tecnología y la red para optimizar las operaciones de su negocio. Se abarcará, entre otros temas:

    Redes sociales,
  • Optimización de búsquedas en la red,
  • Desarrollo de sitio web,
  • Sistemas de gestión de clientes


Costo: Gratis

LEDC Receives Two Federal Awards to Support Entrepreneurs in the Greater DC and Baltimore Regions


Washington, D.C. - According to an Aspen Institute report (2015) regarding the racial wealth gap, the lack of wealth in Latino and African-American communities is related to the lack of businesses and financial assets. On September 27th, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced its awardees for its Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI Fund) program. The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) was one of  three organizations in DC and one of two operating in Baltimore who received this award. LEDC will be receiving $500,000 from the Treasury Department to support its small business micro-lending efforts in the DMV region. 

The same week, on September 30th, 2016, LEDC also learned that it had been awarded $400,000 from the Department of Health and Human Service's (HHS) Community Economic Development (CED) program to provide local DC businesses with financing in order to create jobs with living wages for low-income DC residents.   

This is a historic time for LEDC as it is the first time it has secured two federal grants of this size in one year, and the first time it has been awarded Community Economic Development funding through HHS. "We are so excited and honored to have been selected as 2016 CDFI Fund and CED recipients. The new businesses and jobs that will result from LEDC's financing efforts will help low income residents advance economically, strengthen their financial self-sufficiency, and contribute to the revitalization of Washington, D.C and Baltimore City, MD neighborhoods," said LEDC Executive Director, Marla Bilonick.

About the CDFI Fund:
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2.2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the NACA Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, and the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please view the  Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund's website at  
About Community Economic Development:
The Community Economic Development (CED) program is a Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services (OCS) initiative designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families through the creation of sustainable business development and employment opportunities.

Learn more about  CED.
Published in Press Releases

Whether you’re a small business, a supporter, or an organization providing assistance to small business, you can join in the week’s coordinated activities! Check out the activities above to learn more.

Small Business City Tour


DSLBD will celebrate Small Business Week across the District by visiting small businesses in all 8 Wards throughout the week.


Monday, May 2


DC Small Biz Resource Mini-Clinic Pop-Ups


Stop by and receive free technical assistance and other resources for your small business. Experts will be on hand to answer all your business needs and link you with organizations that will mentor you to the next level.


Presented by: CNHED and DSLBD




Ben’s Chili Bowl BEN’s H St. NE


1001 H St. NE


11:00 am – 2:00 pm




DCRA Building


1100 Fourth St, SW


8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Destination Congress Heights
3119 MLK Jr. Blvd.
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Uprising Muffins
1817 7th St. NW
8:00 am - 11:00 am 
Ward 7 Business Partnership
Thai Orchid's Kitchen Restaurant 
2314 PA Ave SE
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm




DC Government Economic Cluster’s Building Bridges to Success


Gain a better understanding of how to obtain access to capital, District government contracts, and grant opportunities.


Licensing Process (DCRA)


Great Streets Small Business Capital Improvement Grant (DMPED)


Small Business Assistance and Façade Improvement (DHCD)


Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) Program (DSLBD)


Green Incentive Program (DOEE)


4:00 pm - 7:00 pm


100 4th Street SW, 2nd Floor (Room E-200), Washington, DC 20024


For more information, please call (202) 442-4538.



Tuesday, May 3


Power Up DC


GET MONEY, GET MOVIN: Accessing Capital to Start and Grow Your Business with Non-Traditional Funding Resources. Featuring: Guest Speakers, Workshops, Matchmaking Session


8:00 am -12:30 pm


Marriott Marquis Hotel - 901 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001








Made In DC Legislation Celebration


The Department of Small and Local Business Development celebrates the passing of the “Made In DC” legislation!


5:30PM - 7:30PM


Lab 1270 at Union Market - 1270 5th St NE


For more information, email



Thursday, May 5


Hispanic Women Entrepreneurship Roundtable


DSLBD will announce a new program in partnership with MOLA and MOWPI that will help Hispanic women on the road to business ownership. 


10:00 am -11:00 am


MOLA Office - 2000 14th Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20009


For more information, email




SCORE Growing Your Business Conference


A full day of Seminars, Workshops, Networking and Exhibits designed to help Grow your Business!


World-Class Speakers on Affordable Sales & Marketing Strategies, Federal Contracting, and Accessing Capital.


8:00 am – 3:30 pm


Washington Hilton -1919 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009





Friday, May 6


DISB’s Coffee and Capital


Introduction to DISB’s Access to Capital Programs for District Small Business


8:30 am – 10:30 am


Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church - 900 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001






February 27, 2015

LEDC Selected to Launch Fully Automated Peer-to-Peer Lending Program in DMV

~LEDC starts Lending Circles Program in the Greater Washington, DC area~

February 27 – Washington, D.C. – Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)

With a recent economic recession that compromised the economic standing and advancement of millions as a result of reduced levels of income and job opportunities, stricter access to capital, and a collapsed housing industry that pushed many into foreclosure, LEDC has sought opportunities to strengthen our capacity to resurrect our community’s financial health. In February 2015, LEDC was selected to partner with the Mission Asset Fund (MAF) in the implementation of an automated peer-to-peer credit building tool for low-income communities in DC and MD.

While peer-to-peer lending groups are a common practice in many communities, particularly the Latino community, managing them is quite a burden. MAF, with funding from Capital One, designed an automated system that not only facilitates payment processing through automatic debiting, but also reports payments to credit bureaus. This tool, which facilitates both access to capital, financial education, and credit building for low-income communities has found an average 168 point credit score increase among all participants to date.

How it works:

Individuals interested in participating in a Lending Circle register for an orientation session with LEDC to learn about the program and get to know our staff. LEDC staff form groups of interested and eligible participants who are scheduled for a second meeting. At this meeting, participants agree on a monthly payment to contribute to the group’s fund ranging from $50 to $200. What is key to the program is that not only do participants learn about sound financial behaviors, but their loan payments are reported to credit bureaus which allows participants to see significant increases in their credit scores.

Why Lending Circles?

Lending Circles is the perfect addition to LEDC’s culturally and linguistically competent programming which focuses on empowering individuals by strengthening their economic standing and building their assets. Joining a group of peers to share saving techniques, provide mutual accountability, and increase their credit empowers members of our community to pursue their dreams of financial independence and wealth building.

Marla Bilonick, Executive Director of the Latino Economic Development Center, speaks about LEDC’s fitting partnership with Mission Asset Fund; "I met with Jose Quiñonez in early 2014 and he introduced me to what Mission Asset Fund (MAF) was doing with their Lending Circles initiative. I was immediately convinced that this would be a great fit for LEDC and the clients we serve. LEDC and MAF both connect people to resources that put them in the driver's seat of their financial futures and this program is no exception to that. I am so grateful and excited that we were selected by MAF to bring Lending Circles programming to the DC area!"

The Latino Economic Development Center is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization. LEDC’s mission is to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate-income Latinos and other D.C. area residents by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence and become leaders in their communities.

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Published in Press Releases