NDC helps emerging entrepreneurs create and sustain small businesses that bring tangible impact to low-income neighborhoods. Videos below.


NDC entrepreneurs have created and now maintain an estimated 2285 jobs locally. Like Isaac Carpenter, owner of Initiative Construction- he received a loan and technical assistance from NDC, and now employs about 20 people at more than $30/hour per job.


60% of NDC alumni businesses occupy a building that was formerly vacant, and 40% are in spaces that were rehabbed for the business.


$73 million is returned by our entrepreneurs each year to the Twin Cities regional economy, and $46 million of that is returned to inner-city neighborhood economies.


90% of our entrepreneurs say they serve as role models for youth in their communities, and 39% as leaders in groups in their communities.


In the five years that NDC has managed the Midtown Global Market, crime in the area has dropped by more than 30%. The Market has created more than 200 jobs and attracts more than 1.2 million visitors each year.


In one neighborhood alone, a one-mile ring around the Midtown Global Market, there are currently 106 NDC alumni open for business with 473 jobs, returning $9.7 million to that neighborhood annually.



BIG DADDY’S BARBECUE – Frogtown Entrepreneur Center, St. Paul

Big Daddy’s Barbecue has been repeatedly named amongst the Twin Cities’ best BBQ. Ron Whyte, Bob Edmond
and Gene “Big Daddy” Sampson came through NDC’s entrepreneur training program 16 years ago. They have received multiple loans from NDC and continue to receive ongoing technical assistance for their business. Big Daddy’s occupies a formerly vacant storefront, employs 5 neighborhood residents, and serves as a vibrant community gathering place. They have received multiple awards for their outstanding BBQ, including being named the Best BBQ in the Twin Cities in 2011 from City Pages.

SALTY TART – Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis

In 2004, single mother and nationally acclaimed Pastry Chef Michelle Gayer was ready to make the transition from employee to business owner, but could not get funding from a traditional bank. She took NDC’s training program and launched her business, Salty Tart Bakery, in the Midtown Global Market. The Market provided Gayer with all necessary equipment, and she received a loan from NDC to cover her build out and working capital. Her business has created 10 jobs and is consistently recognized among the top bakeries in Minneapolis. Michelle is now a two-time James Beard Award finalist and her booth at the Minnesota State Fair, which NDC helped her secure, is one of the Fair’s most critically acclaimed attractions.

Read more success stories of NDC entrepreneurs

NDC finds the untapped, hidden talent of entrepreneurs in low-income communities and eliminates barriers to their success through long-term relationships and culturally competent programs, including:

  • Entrepreneur Training & Small Business Workshops
  • Small Business & Islamically-acceptable Financing
  • One-on-one Business Coaching and Technical Assistance
  • Commercial Real Estate Development and Management
  • Capacity-building for community economic development

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