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Join us for upcoming trainings

2018 Ohio Microbusiness Summit

If your organization has an existing microbusiness development program or if you want to learn more about microbusiness development in Ohio,

Featured Speaker, Gary Schoeniger Founder & CEO of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, Gary is the co-author of Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur.

don’t miss this summit!

Join us for a day of informative sessions, discussion, and networking with microbusiness program providers throughout the state.

Featured Speaker, Gary Schoeniger  Founder & CEO of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative.  Gary is the co-author of Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur.

The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) is a global thought leader dedicated to expanding human potential through entrepreneurial mindset education. ELI serves academic institutions, government agencies, profit, and nonprofit organizations around the world to empower their constituents with an entrepreneurial mindset through professional development, certification training, curriculum content, and consulting.

ELI is the creator of the Ice House Entrepreneurship Programs, which has been presented to the United Nations General Assembly, the Papal Council for Peace and Justice at the Vatican, and the European Commission.

In addition to the guest speaker, the agenda will include networking and a tour of ECDI’s Women’s Business Center and the Food Commissary.  This event is free to attend and lunch will be provided.
2018 Ohio Microbusiness Summit
May 17, 2018  /  9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Register Here!
1655 Old Leonard Avenue
Columbus, OH 43219
This summit is supported by Citizens Bank.

Harnessing the Forces of Gentrification to Improve your Neighborhood

For years, communities working to improve their economy have struggled with the forces of gentrification. In this workshop, we will explore how to define and measure gentrification, and practical tools to promote inclusive neighborhood development.

Presenters for this training are Brian Higgins of Parsons Area Redevelopment Corporation and Mark Barbash. This event is free to attend. Attendees will have lunch on their own.

Harnessing the Forces of Gentrification to Improve your Neighborhood
June 7, 2018  /  10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Register Here!

Ohio CDC Association
100 E. Broad Street, 6th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215


OCDCA releases 2017 annual report

Group photo after the Friday morning Member Awards Breakfast at the 2017 OCDCA Annual Conference in Toledo, October 5-6.

The Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) is a statewide membership organization that fosters vibrant neighborhoods and improves the quality of life in all communities through advocacy and capacity building of our member agencies.

OCDCA has just released its 2017 Annual Report.

Special thanks to our members, partners, sponsors, and funders for supporting us through 2017.

You can read the annual report on our website. While there, you can subscribe to receive our newsletters to learn about these things first and consider a donation to strengthen the work of the OCDCA network.

We look forward to continuing our work with all partners, funders, and members. We had a great year and are looking forward to an even better 2018!




Do you need funding support for your programs?

Are you looking for ways to bolster your existing programs or find funding for new ones?

There are many ways Ohio CDC Association may be able to help. Do you know them all?

Empowering Communities – Innovation Funding to Combat the Social Determinants of Health
In late February 2018, OCDCA and the CareSource Foundation will release the Empowering Communities RFP. Empowering Communities is a project that provides a mechanism for funding new and innovative solutions to unique community challenges that involve the social determinants of health. This innovation funding is available to OCDCA members. Look for the RFP release in just a few weeks.

Social Enterprise Incubation Program
The Social Enterprise Incubation Program (SEIP) is an intensive four phase program consisting of rigorous training and tailored technical assistance for OCDCA members while they create their own social enterprise. This program culminates in a structured “shark tank” where the participating CDCs gain access to startup capital. More information about this technical assistance and funding program will be available in the coming months.

AmeriCorps VISTA
The Ohio CDC Association VISTA Project, created in 1995 as a partnership between the Ohio CDC Association and the Corporation for National and Community Service, places VISTA Members every June or July at OCDCA member organizations throughout the state. VISTA Members are full-time volunteers that serve at a non-profit organization and focus their efforts on building organizational, administrative, and financial capacity for organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, strengthen community groups, and otherwise assist low-income communities. OCDCA members pay only $1,600 broken into quarterly installments for this full-time AmeriCorps member. Additionally, OCDCA operates a VISTA Summer Associate program. Both RFPs for 2018 have passed, but will open again in December 2018.

Ohio Microbusiness Development Program
The purpose of the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program is to provide funding for OCDCA members to further develop a local delivery system that encourages microbusiness development, provides low- and moderate-income households with access to capital for business development and self-employment, and creates and retains long-term jobs in the private sector. The RFP for this program opens in the fall.

Funding Opps
Each month, OCDCA members receive a lengthy newsletter called Funding Opps, which lists countless funding opportunities for Ohio community development organizations, separated into the buckets of affordable housing; food access; community engagement; community economic development; and financial empowerment.

All of these programs are available on a competitive basis to OCDCA members. Joining is simple and can happen at any time. All new member dues are 50% off for the first year – no matter when they join, just use code NM2018.

For more information about membership, please contact Melissa Miller, Associate Director, at or (614) 461-6392 ext. 209.


OCDCA announces microbusiness development program grantees

These past two months have been a very exciting time for OCDCA and its members.

Late last month, through the use of an impartial review committee, we awarded grants to fourteen members for their microbusiness programs through the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program.

The purpose of the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program is to provide funding for CDCs to further develop a local delivery system that encourages microbusiness development, provides low- and moderate-income households with access to capital for business development and self-employment, and creates and retains long-term jobs in the private sector.

Funding for this can be in the form of either training or technical assistance, or direct assistance to the business in the form of a loan, with loan funds repaid into a local microbusiness revolving loan fund. Funding for this program comes from Ohio Development Services Agency with additional support for OCDCA’s Recoverable Grant Fund through a significant gift from Fifth Third Bank with additional support from US Bank Foundation. View a list of all the OCDCA funders.

Awarded Organizations

Adams Brown Community Action Partnership

Appalachian Center for Economic Networks

Asian Services in Action, Inc.

Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area

Community Action Committee of Pike County

Economic and Community Development Institute

Franklinton Urban Empowerment Lab

Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative

HHWP Community Action Agency

INCREASE Community Development Corporation

Southern Perry Incubation Center for Entrepreneurs

Supports to Encourage Low Income Families

Vinton County Economic Development Board

Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation

Congrats to all of the selected organization! For more information about the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program, please contact Nate Coffman at ncoffman AT


What’s happening? Microbusiness, budgets, & we’re hiring

A brief sample of our September 2017 newsletter: What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development?

OCDCA Receives Significant Gift from Fifth Third Bank for Microbusiness

OCDCA created the Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund to provide a sustainable pool of funding to the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program’s community development organizations, who can then use the funds to make loans to local microentrepreneurs in their community. We at Ohio CDC Association are  eager to announce that the OMBDP Recoverable Grant Fund received a significant gift from Fifth Third Bank. As this program gets rolling, we are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Fifth Third Bank to bolster Ohio microbusiness development programs and low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs throughout the state.

The Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund (RGF) is a statewide fund, from which OCDCA makes recoverable grants to sub-sites of OCDCA’s Microbusiness Development Grant Program, in order for the sub-site to then make loans to their low-to-moderate income microentrepreneur clients. Loan repayments are paid back to the subsite who repays OCDCA to replenish the grant fund, so that more grants for loans to microentrepreneurs can be made in the future.

Thank you, Fifth Third Bank!

2018 Ohio Micro
business Development Program Funding
OCDCA welcomes current, good standing members to apply for the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program. The maximum grant award is $40,000. Of this, up to 10% may be used for administrative expenses. The structure of the lending allocation for the microbusiness program has changed. The application is due by 4:00 pm on October 10, 2017. For questions, please contact David Foust at dfoust AT


Farewell, David!
After six years of dedication, October 25th is David Foust’s last day with the Ohio CDC Association. David joined the OCDCA in September 2011. His primary responsibilities included leading an industry marketing and branding initiative, overseeing the microbusiness development program, as well as new programming initiatives. Prior to this role, he served as the OCDCA Membership Manager where he assisted in coordinating membership activities, including training and technical assistance.

He won’t be out of our network though, as he joins member Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT) working to revitalize Columbus’s Near East Side. David will be missed, but we wish him the best on the next stages of his career!

Read the whole newsletter or subscribe!


RFP available: 2018 Ohio microbusiness development program

OCDCA welcomes current, good standing members to apply for the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program.

The purpose of the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program is to provide funding for community development corporations (CDCs) to further develop a local delivery sys

Vino de Milo, a specialty food creator in Athens, uses the ACEnet kitchen incubator.

tem that encourages microbusiness development, provides low- and moderate-income households with access to capital for business development and self-employment, and creates and retains long-term jobs in the private sector.

The maximum grant award is $40,000. Of this, up to 10% may be used for administrative expenses. The structure of the lending allocation for the microbusiness program has changed.

Please refer to the introduction of the funding application for more information. The application is due by 4:00 pm on October 10, 2017.

If you have interest, or if you have questions about the program, please join us for an informational webinar about the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program: September 19, 2017 from 11 am – 12 pm. 

Further questions can be directed to David Foust at dfoust AT or (614) 461-6392 ext. 204.


10 reasons why you should become a member

Do you enjoy receiving Ohio CDC Association’s monthly newsletter What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development which features state and federal policy updates, funding and employment opportunities, and a bevy of training events?

Well then, here are ten other things you would enjoy even more by being a member of the Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA):

1. We help explain what you do

What is community development? Great question. Are you a CDC? Possibly. Do you do community development? It’s likely.

We help explain the answers to these questions and describe a broad view of comprehensive community development. We provide branding assistance and supplementary marketing materials, including a comprehensive Public Relations Toolkit. For a look at our starting point, please see our videos, “If We Can, So Can You.” We help create a unified voice for the variety of neighborhood revitalization and community development efforts in Ohio.

2. Advocacy gets easier for you

This will be of huge importance for the foreseeable future.

We work in coalitions to make it easier and stronger. On a state level, we helped form the Home Matters to Ohio campaign to push affordable housing to the top of the priority list, and have advocated for more or equal funding for nonprofit community developers for years.

We utilize our downtown Columbus presence to talk to policy makers on behalf of two-hundred plus organizations along with our partners.

Nationally, we work to stay at the table, creating flyers demonstrating the value of CDBG and HOME that our members can use. We organize Capitol Hill visits for national conferences, empowering our members to tell the stories of their communities.

Join this strong voice so your concerns are heard. Many are louder than one.

3. Free Money!

Over $37,200 in scholarships to non-OCDCA community development trainings were already offered in 2017 so far, including the National Development Council Academy and the People and Places Community Conference in DC. Even if your organization just received one scholarship to a conference, the OCDCA membership would pay for itself.

4. Opportunities to network with other CDCs and peers

Networking is integral in all of our trainings, workshops, and our conference. But, more importantly, we love connecting experts from around the state to help out those organizations in need. Who better to learn from than other practitioners?

5. Quality, affordable trainings in a variety of subjects offered year-round

Yeah, a lot of these trainings are free for everybody, but that’s just because we want to share the knowledge. On that note, we love collaborating with other orgs on trainings, most recently Greater Ohio Policy Center and Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies. OCDCA members also receive a discounted OANO membership, which means further training discounts. For any of our trainings that do require a fee, members have discounted rates. To find out what’s coming up next, click here!

6. Members-only funding announcements

Did you ever want to be part of a secret club? Now you can be. We tirelessly scour all the sources for the best, most relevant funding opportunities applicable to any member to disseminate through our monthly newsletter: Funding Opps. For a sample copy, please email Lisa Much, lmuch AT

7. Technical assistance in pretty much anything!

Microbusiness development, financial education, housing, economic development, rural development, fund development, marketing, starting or expanding a CDC, etc. Just ask! If we don’t know, we can help you get the answer! (Unless, of course, it’s malfunctioning office equipment).

8. Access to the AmeriCorps VISTA, IDA, and Microbusiness Development programs

With technical assistance and training, of course. Some of these programs even feature members’ only sections on our website and periodic network calls or summits to share best practices or get your questions answered.

In the last year alone, OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTAs recruited more than 900 community volunteers, who completed over 2,000 hours of volunteer service; organized or attended over 250 community events to support their organization’s services; and raised over $700,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. How can they bolster your community?

9. New programs on the horizon – community empowerment initiative

Ever on the lookout for more ways to serve our members, we’ve created the Community Empowerment Initiative, slated to launch Q1 of 2018, to bolster our members in a comprehensive way. Stay tuned for more information!

10. Ohio CDC Association annual conference discount

“The CDC conference is always one of the best of the year,” a long-time, returning attendee remarked after the 2014 Dayton conference.

Now on its 33rd year, the OCDCA conference takes pride in changing the host city each year. Featuring diverse workshops, ample networking time, at least four local tours, expert featured speakers, and award ceremonies, the CDC conference promotes idea sharing and collaboration for all people working to improve communities throughout Ohio. Plus, there are, of course, usually scholarships for young professionals and other members to attend.

Have we convinced you yet? If you are still unsure about the value of an OCDCA membership, check out the other benefits here.

Member dues are 50% off the rest of the year. Become a member now with code “10REASONS” and you will be entered into a raffle to win a free OCDCA Annual Conference registration in Toledo, under the theme Glass Half Full: Resilience in the Face of Adversity, October 5-6, 2017 at the newly renovated Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel.

For more membership questions or concerns, please contact Melissa Miller at (614) 461-6392 ext. 209.

We’re here for you. We envision the creation of a community development environment that comprehensively improves life opportunities for all Ohioans and believe you are doing that. Let’s work together.


Lots of trainings coming up…

There are many trainings, events, and scholarship deadlines coming up! See the schedule.

Impact Investing Executive Education Program Scholarships Available
This cutting-edge three day course, led by the Tony R. Wells Foundation, enables nonprofit, foundation and social enterprise leaders to leverage the power of social enterprise and social impact investing together to increase impact, improve stability, and grow the sustainability of their organizations. OCDCA will be providing nine scholarships to members, three of which must go to staff from rural members through USDA RCDI, for the April 18-20, 2017 training. Scholarship recipients will only pay $300 towards the $2,100 course. Deadline to apply for this scholarship is March 31.


2017 Microbusiness Summit: Best Practices
The 2017 Microbusiness Summit: Best Practices will allow participants to share ideas about resources and strategies to bolster the effectiveness of their microbusiness program.

It will feature networking opportunities and panel discussions about best practices for microbusiness development programs, including using data and research program growth and marketing, negotiation and mediation, as well as an update on services available from the small business development centers.

Join us April 3, 2017 in Columbus for this event. More information here.


Creative Placemaking Ohio
Ohio CDC Association, Ohio Citizens for the Arts, and our partners are offering the Creative Placemaking Ohio workshops.

We all know that, when done right, creative placemaking can foster collective community revitalization by uniting partners from a multitude of sectors to enact community change. Across Ohio, groups are already working on this and you can join in! Meet these new allies at one of the Creative Placemaking Ohio workshops. We are pleased to offer reimbursable travel stipends for OCDCA members traveling more than 50 miles one way for these trainings.

Join us April 11, 2017 in Hamilton or May 18, 2017 in Zanesville. More information here.


2017 Membership Meetings
Please join Ohio CDC Association for industry updates and networking. We want to hear your thoughts on your successes, challenges, and ideas!

New this year, we will also focus on a specific community development tactic at each meeting: affordable housing; community economic development; financial empowerment; food access; and community engagement.

Choose either the location or the topic that speaks to you most! More information about these five events is available here.


Check out our current training calendar

These next couple months are full of trainings and deadlines. What’s on your calendar?

This Week

Friday, September 9 – Ohio Microbusiness Development Program Application Webinar
This webinar will provide some general information about the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program, as well as provide an opportunity for program applicants to get questions answered about the application process.

Ohio Microbusiness Development Program Application Webinar
September 9, 2016
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Register Here!

Next Week

Wednesday, September 14 – Nutz & Boltz of IDAs
Who Should Attend?

  • Organizations considering or developing an IDA Program
  • Organizations that have an IDA program but have new hires
  • New IDA subsites


  • IDAs as a Strategy for Asset Building: Why and How do IDAs Work
  • The Building Blocks of Program Design
  • Assessing your Community’s Needs: Defining your Target Population
  • Funding Resources and Opportunities Explained
  • IDA Program Management
  • Integration of IDAs into Other Agency Programs

Nutz & Boltz of IDAs
September 14, 2016
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Chase Building
100 E. Broad Street
6th Floor Board Room
Columbus, OH 43215
Register Here!

Thursday, September 15 – Making the Real Estate Deal in the Neighborhood
The goal of the session is to provide participants with a basic framework that enables a CDC to play a role in development. Using a few representative case studies, the course will walk through the development components, identifying key information to obtain and questions to ask. The course would be taught from the perspective of a CDC, while also trying to “get into the heads” of the project stakeholders.

Making the Real Estate Deal in the Neighborhood
September 15, 2016
9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Chase Building
100 E. Broad Street
6th Floor Board Room
Columbus, OH 43215
Register Here!

This training is sponsored by:


Friday, September 16 – Early Bird Rates for OCDCA 32nd Annual Conference
Don’t miss the deadline for the early-bird rates for the annual conference, Passion for Progress: Redefining Community Development in Athens, October 13-14, 2016.

Members: $180
Non-Members: $230
Students & Young Professionals: $100
Members – Additional Staff: $100
Non-Members – Additional Staff: $180

Register Here!

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This Month

Click here to see what else is coming up…


2014 Ohio Microbusiness Network summit on best practices recap

Yesterday, we held the 2014 Ohio Microbusiness Network Spring Summit on best practices for microbusiness development organizations. The summit included nearly forty practitioners, some well-established and some that have yet to begin. The impact of the organizations at the Summit includes over 3000 individuals provided with training and technical assistance and nearly 300 microloans used to start businesses in Ohio.


The networking heavy summit began with a panel of established programs, discussing documentation and procedures for microloans and for underwriting. Nontraditional forms of underwriting are a unique aspect of microlending that was discussed heavily. There was a wealth of experience that helped new and old organizations look at their own lending procedures and think about what they could change about them.


After a rambunctious speed networking session (and of course lunch!) there was a second panel that blended newer and older programs with marketing expertise to talk about effectively spreading the word about microlending programs. Social media marketing was discussed at length (including a shout out to this blog!), and people came away with some great info on reaching every demographic they could hope for, as well as how to gather and utilize data to tell their story.



The Ohio Microbusiness Network is a great forum for discussion for microbusiness development practitioners. There are monthly conference calls, biannual summits, and a developing web forum. If you are interested in microbusiness development, or are a current development practitioner, and would like to join the network, please contact David Foust at or Sam Bolam at