ECDI Individual Development Account Leads to Successful Small Business

“What do you love about your job?” Without question, my answer, “Our clients!”

As one of the largest SBA micro-lenders in the country, it is no surprise that many people and businesses look to the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) seeking capital. But, not everybody obtains capital or sets up shop as a small business owner.

Last year, I wrote a feature on Firas Adham, owner of Al-Adham Construction, a contractor who has been involved with ECDI under the Home Repair Program since November 2012. Adham began his journey with ECDI by applying for an Individual Development Account (IDA) grant to start a construction/remodeling business.

An IDA is a special matched savings account to help low-income individuals and families put money aside for homeownership, education or starting a small business. For every dollar you deposit in your IDA account, the IDA program puts in one or more matching dollars to maximize your savings. Qualification is required and your program may vary, depending on your nationality or citizenship status.

After Adham completed his IDA, we spoke to him about becoming a contractor for our senior/disabled home repair program. He completed all requirements to become one of our contractors, including getting certified by the City of Columbus.

Adham’s work has been exemplary and all our clients rave about his professionalism and quality of work. Today, he even surprised us with cake so ECDI could help celebrate his third year of business!ECDI Cake

This story is not unique. ECDI, The Food Fort and the Women’s Business Center provide support and services to a wide range of businesses that add value to our neighborhood, our city and our state. Al-Adham Construction flourished after a chance introduction to ECDI from a friend. You now have that opportunity to introduce everything we do to everyone you know. Please share this story on to like-minded friends and family with an interest in creating and sustaining strong and vibrant businesses.

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Douglas Craven has a passion for small business, creative entrepreneurs, and community development. As Director of Development and Marketing at ECDI, Douglas works closely with the CEO, President and Board of Directors in all development and fundraising efforts. Previously, Douglas was part of team Geben at Geben Communications, a PR firm that helps emerging brands and forward-thinking, established companies excel in a social world; Douglas managed teams, created strategy, crafted crisis communication and media amplification for national brands and large non-profits. With more than eight years with ECDI in various roles Douglas works tirelessly to find new resources and opportunities for the businesses they serve throughout Ohio.