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Neighborhood Development Center (NDC)

NDC is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that empowers aspiring under-resourced entrepreneurs to build businesses in their neighborhoods, often the most economically strained in the Twin Cities. The organization describes itself as a character lender and points to its wraparound support for entrepreneurs—both pre-loan and post-loan—for achieving a high degree of repayment. NDC’s lending program helps bridge the gap between when a business starts and when it’s considered “bankable.”

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Investment

$1 million 10-year loan at 2%; originated in 2019

Due to Covid-19, McKnight reduced the interest rate permanently to 0.75 basis points to align with the 10-year Treasury rate and provide flexibility while interest payments for one year.

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Rationale

Access to capital is key to building wealth in communities of color, and community development financial institutions such as NDC play a crucial role in directing capital to entrepreneurs of color. In McKnight’s view, growing businesses from within communities fosters local leadership and enhances a neighborhood’s economic vitality. NDC has a targeted approach to economic development, including culture-specific technical training, which creates a multiplier effect with community assets. Since inception, NDC has trained more than 5,500 aspiring entrepreneurs and provided more than 70,000 hours of technical assistance. In addition, it currently operates five incubators.

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Returns

Too early to report.

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Lessons Learned

Experienced CDFI’s may be well positioned to respond quickly to a crisis and able to maintain their financial health. Small but mighty, NDC emerged from the first year of the pandemic on stronger financial footing by acting quickly to ensure federal and state aid reached under-served businesses. Although they experience loan payment deferrals and shuttered clients, NDC processed over $8 million in small loans helping their clients and offsetting NDC’s earned revenue losses.

Photo Credit: NDC, featuring supported businesses Manny’s Tortas, Element Boxing and Fitness, Hmong Village, and Workhorse Coffee Bar.

Disclaimer of Endorsement: The McKnight Foundation does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or service providers.

Last updated 10/2021

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