News Roundup: ECDI Impact Report, SEA Change Festival, Rev1 Demo Day & Chamber Small Business Leaders

Stay up to date with what’s happening in the small business community. From measuring impact, to honoring business owners, to upcoming events highlighting the variety of businesses thriving in the Columbus, here’s the latest from the entrepreneurial community.

ECDI Releases Impact Report

Community Development Financial Institution and SBA micro-lender ECDI released its annual impact report for the fiscal year from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016. Founded in Columbus in 2004, ECDI has become the largest SBA intermediary micro-lender in the state and third largest in the country.

The report detailed ECDI’s impact since its inception and for the fiscal year.


Of the 321 loans dispersed for the year, 61 percent were awarded to minorities, 55 percent to low- to moderate-income individuals and 43 percent to women.

ECDI provides more than financial resources for entrepreneurs. Training programs and classes provide business owners with the knowledge they need to start and expand their enterprises. For the year, over 140 businesses completed ECDI’s Small Enterprise Education Development Training (SEED) program and the organization offered more than 11,700 hours of technical assistance.

Additional resources target niche business owners. The Food Fort offers commissary space, a commercial kitchen and storage for many of Columbus’ food trucks. The Women’s Business Center of Ohio provides women business owners collaborative office space, networking opportunities, a computer lab and a plethora of counseling and training opportunities. The WBC also made a significant impact in the fiscal year.


Click here to download the full report.

Nominations Now Open for for Columbus Chamber Small Business Leader Award 

The Columbus Chamber is now accepting nominations for its 2017 Small Business Leader Award. The award honors businesses that exemplify success by increasing sales, expanding their workforce and contributing to the community. Award criteria include:

  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Good standing membership with the Columbus Chamber.
  • Three consecutive years of operation.
  • Operation as a for-profit company.

Individuals acting as CEO, founder or managing partner of the company are eligible for the award. Nominations are accepted through 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 30.

Visit to nominate a business.

Rev1 Demo Day Slated for September 20

On Tuesday, September 20 Rev1 Ventures looks to show Columbus why the city is one of the best for scaling startups. Ten of its portfolio companies will share their stories of building high-tech startups in Columbus. The Demo Day lineup includes:

  • Ambassador Software Works
  • Cube4
  • HealthyRoster
  • Inmobly
  • Invirsa
  • KareIntellex
  • Oye!
  • SafeWhite
  • SuperH Index
  • T-Pro Solutions

Demo Day will be held at the Capitol Theatre, Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, 77 S. High St., from 1 – 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20.

Visit for additional information and free registration.

First-Ever SEA Change Festival Celebrates Social Enterprise Saturday August 20 

As social enterprises grow in popularity, the SEA Change Festival will dedicated an entire day to building awareness around the nearly 100 socially-conscious businesses that take root in Columbus. Dozens of businesses will be on display during the day-long event at McFerson Commons in the Arena District.

Every element of the festival will take a give-back approach, from local food trucks and breweries donating a portion of their profits to non-profit partners, to hiring social enterprises for as many event functions as possible.

The SEA Change Festival will feature demonstrations from local social enterprises, shopping, food and drink, all to be enjoyed from 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Visit the SEA Change Festival Facebook event page for additional information.