Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) embraces entrepreneurship as a driving force for social and economic equity for the Latinx community. A pioneer in building prosperity and capacity within ethnic communities, LEDC provides a holistic combination of support for businesses and entrepreneurs. More than 1,000 people have graduated from LEDC’s small business training classes, with a third going on to open businesses of their own.
LEDC leaders developed their unique approach with Mercado Central, a thriving marketplace of 45 businesses in south Minneapolis. Today, collaborative business ventures, frequently organized as cooperatives, distinguish LEDC’s business model. LEDC recently helped organize several rural farm incubator and farmer-owned marketing cooperatives. LEDC also co-developed a community-owned, cooperative grocery store and commercial incubator kitchen in North Minneapolis, and, with Dayton’s Bluff Community Council, established the East Side Enterprise Center, an economic development hub that serves a multicultural array of individuals and entrepreneurs.
LEDC’s successes serve as an inspiration and model for organizations throughout the region and nation that seek economic opportunity for underrepresented communities.