Washington, District of Columbia
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Neighborhoods in Washington, DC, like many urban centers across the country, have experienced long-term economic disadvantages, including higher than average unemployment and poverty rates that have persisted since the 1970s. These conditions have handicapped neighborhoods from getting back on their economic feet as the national and regional economies slowly recover from the recent recession. In addition, persistent job loss in various economic sectors inhibits the ability of local populations to secure first-rung employment opportunities.
Operation Hope is tackling these challenges head on. Through its Small Business Empowerment Initiative (SBEI), Operation Hope is working directly with individuals who face challenges finding employment and building wealth by creating and growing small business and entrepreneurial opportunities. By providing the training and tools to support entrepreneurship and the creation of small businesses, the SBEI is helping address the need for communities to provide employment and ownership opportunities for disadvantaged populations.
In 2014, Operation Hope received $847,783 in financial assistance from EDA to expand its SBEI network in cities across the Northeast, adding a new location in downtown DC. The initiative will also provide access to capital, financial services credit, and individualized management counseling to help small business owners and entrepreneurs expand their businesses.