How the Twin Cities nonprofit has worked for decades to close the wealth gap between races – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Medina, a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, has been working to help BIPOC businesses for decades.

Chief executive Alfredo Martel says it was born at a similar time 50 years ago, after the civil unrest on Plymouth Avenue in 1967. Martel says it’s important now to work to narrow it down. the gap between rich and poor between races.

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WCCO’s Jennifer Mayerle learned how entrepreneurs thrive by working together.

Those who are less educated at The Beginning of Olu was part of founder Gloria Freeman’s dream to build a lasting legacy.

“We focus on good health,” says Freeman.

Her path to preschool began with her courage, determination, and refusal to accept a loan from the bank.

“There have been uncomfortable moments,” says Freeman. “It’s hurtful. I took it personally. ”

That’s where Meda comes into the picture. The nonprofit organization that supports BIPOC entrepreneurs with advice, capital, and opportunities helps fill the gap.

“Helped me with productivity, connectivity, money, a number of things,” says Freeman.

“There is an amazing problem,” said Martel. “Many of our customers are already using mainstream services and systems and they may be deemed unusable. In our view, in our mission, we invest in those customers themselves. “

Martel explains that there is a ripple effect when a BIPOC entrepreneur creates it.

“Business success is an immediate wealth booster for a household. BIPOC entrepreneurs hire BIPOC employees, they pay an acceptable salary, and they are all connected by the community,” said Martel.

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Freeman told her it was about creating an intergenerational business. Her daughter runs the day-to-day operations. She credits Meda for helping with the business today.

“I know with the support of Meda, I was able to accomplish my goal,” says Freeman.

Meda’s help allowed Conrad Nguyen to get Kortech, a small business that connects people with companies.

“This is a big deal, personally,” Nguyen said.

He came to the US after living in a refugee camp, his family had left Vietnam. The high school student at risk of dropping out moved to Minnesota, where he would receive his diploma, go on to graduate college, and earn an MBA.

Nguyen said: “There is always such a weak mentality.

He has a loan but needs working capital to make the deal. Meda provides that so he can pay employees while building customers.

“I felt like I had a team supporting me, getting through it,” Nguyen said.

It allows him to build for the future.

“This is not just about us. It’s about creating something positive for the next generation. I’m in tears when I talk about my baby, but for me this is the American dream,” Nguyen said.

Meda helped Freeman again recently. She purchased a building that spans a block in Hennepin in the 23rd position. Currently, the residential and commercial property has been leased and she intends to open a beauty business in one space. open.

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