In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are sharing the story of Consuelo Poland, founder of the Latinas Welding Guild and director of RUCKUS, a flourishing makerspace in the North Mass Avenue industrial corridor of Indianapolis, where LISC has been supporting the growth of a new and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. Poland is dedicated to connecting Indy’s residents, Latina and otherwise, to satisfying work in creative, hands-on and entrepreneurial jobs, and building a supportive community for small businesses and makers in the process.
Check out our top three reads of the week covering the challenges and opportunities of American communities. This week, we're reading about the life-expectancy gap, worker cooperatives, and the link between housing and family stability.
LISC is ramping up its national economic development work with the launch of a new small business lender called immito. “Nothing catalyzes opportunity in a community like new businesses launching and expanding,” said Maurice A. Jones, LISC president and CEO. immito is expected to do $100 million in annual lending and will spark entrpreneurship and growth in communities across the country, especially those where demand for capital access is high.
In Cincinnati, LISC’s one-to-one matches for Kiva loans to local entrepreneurs are producing some sweet results. An article in Soapbox Cincinnati tells the stories of creative area women, including a gourmet carrot cake baker, who have grown their businesses thanks to the no-interest, no-fee—but big impact—loans.
An article in The Wall Street Journal details a creative program to help neighborhood bodegas update their look and stock, and keep pace with demand as new, younger clientele moves in. Together with longtime partner Cypress Hills Local Development Corp, LISC is spearheading the "Commercial Corridor Challenge," supporting small businesses to prosper—not flounder—as demographics change.