"If you give people fish, they will eat for a day. If you teach them to fish, they will eat for a lifetime." WEDI’s Economic Development program embraces this perspective by providing its clients with the tools and resources necessary to create small businesses, expand existing ventures, and participate in the local workforce. WEDI’s small business training sessions and workshops educate business owners in starting and running their operations as efficiently and effectively as possible. WEDI's support also extends to every small business participating at the West Side Bazaar, WEDI's small business incubator program. Beyond these technical assistance services, WEDI also maintains a microloan financing program to provide clients with the necessary capital to break ground or expand their business into its next phase.
Successes of the Economic Development program
WEDI has invested over 110 microloans totaling over $600,000 in small businesses across Buffalo.
- From 2015 to 2016, WEDI’s clients created 96 and retained 127 jobs.
- Eighty eight percent (88%) of WEDI-financed businesses are still in operation following 7 years of lending.
- Most WEDI-supported businesses are profitable within the first three years.
- From 2012 to 2016, business counseling services supported over 800 burgeoning entrepreneurs.
- The West Side Bazaar has hosted 44 small businesses, creating and maintaining over 50 jobs, and graduates many start-up businesses into the market.
WEDI's Economic Development program operates on a three-stream pipeline model, which can accommodate business owners at any stage of business. Interested in learning more about our small business development program or how to apply for a microloan? Follow the links below: