Blazing the Trail
1984 –Started as Ann Arbor Community Development Corporation as one of the first microloan programs with 18 members. Initial funding came from the City of Ann Arbor. This $60,000 investment has transformed into more than 4 million dollars in loans and 1700 jobs created.
1987 – Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment (WISE) business development program begins as one of the first women’s business centers in the count. CEED assisted with the development of Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), Project Invest (Traverse City), and Lansing Community Loan Program by providing technical assistance.
1992 – WISE expands county-wide with the intent to serve more people.
1996- CEED receives a presidential visit when President Bill Clinton spoke at the “Women, Business and the American Economy” event at Eastern Michigan University.
Recognition of Leadership
1997- CEED participates in the premier Microcredit Summit in Washington, DC along with 3,000 representatives from around the world. Executive Director, Michelle Richards, among 100 women leaders invited to participate in the first Women’s Economic Summit at the White House.
CEED is honored by poet and world-renowned author Maya Angelou as the keynote speaker at awards dinner.
1998 – Based on capacity and success, CEED invited to become one of the 14 certification councils for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
2005 – Michigan Women Marketplace launches www.miwomen.com. Online community to educate, empower and engage has grown from 380 to more than 6500 businesses posted in directory.
2006 – Small Business Detroit Microloan Program is created through a partnership with the City of Detroit Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood and Commercial Revitalization.
|Replicating the Model
2006-Executive Director, Michelle Richards and business class instructor, Kathi Boyle, part of a delegation that traveled to Ghana, West Africa to train business trainers and entrepreneurs in microenterprise development curriculum and models.
2007 – CEED receives a visit from Dr. Mohammad Yunus, founder of the internationally recognized Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
2008 – Michigan Women’s Business Council becomes Women Business Enterprise Council – Great Lakes and opens Indianapolis office.
Future of CEED – Looking Forward
“The world changes when we aim for possibilities and not probabilities”
Michelle Richards, Executive Director
*Make access to financing through regional microloan program to meet
unmet needs of small business owners
*Continue to be the advocate of small business owners
*Aim to be the one-stop shop for business development
*Make services available to Indiana members