The Latino Economic Development Center emerged out of a small group of immigrants who formed a Latino congregation in 1994: Sagrado Corazon de Jesus (Sacred Heart of Jesus) in South Minneapolis. The new congregation immediately took on a social justice as well as a spiritual dimension. Recent Mexican immigrants worked in teams on educational, legal, and economic issues, and overcame many barriers to reach their goals. Over time, they realized that economic progress was imperative to strengthen the Latino community and they made a proposal to form an organization focused on self-sufficiency.
Their first project was the Mercado Central which successfully opened in 1999 with the support of many non-profit organizations. Then the Latino Business Development Center was formed to keep working on the formation of LEDC.
Founding Board of Directors of the Mercado Central
LEDC was incorporated in 2003 with assistance from several local business development organizations. With the help of those organizations, LEDC worked to improve technical and leadership skills, which led to successes like the Cooperative Mercado Central, Plaza Latina and Midtown Global Market.
The LEDC founders realized that economic progress was imperative to strengthen the Latino community and so they focused LEDC's activities on self-sufficiency. Over the years LEDC has maintained its core programs while embarking on new initiatives.You can find out more about what we do here.