April 17, 2024


Supportive Business Potential

Aspiring business owners attend workshop in hopes of starting a business

Aspiring business owners attend workshop in hopes of starting a business

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Dozens of aspiring business owners came to WEDI’s workshop for insight into how to access WEDI’s CDFI loan program, build a business, and network.

Cheryl Jones, a children’s book author, shares with 7 News reporter Yoselin Person that she hopes to establish her own comic book business.

“I love the concept of this program. I’m so glad that I came,” Jones says.

Jones says she was facing some dead ends when it came to getting information on how to get started.

“Everything that I heard all of the restaurant owners that are here and how they started their business and how WEDI help with the rent and have the supplies,” she explains. “They offer tutoring assistance.”

The executive director of WEDI,, Carolynn Welch, says the organization can help people establish credit.

“We give you assistance to start your business and keep your business going,” Welch says. “Our whole goal is to make it worthy to go to a bank and then get larger loans to build a business

Jason Whitaker, a pastor, is looking to expand his ministry with WEDI’s help. He also says he sees the diversity of small businesses that continue to grow through WEDI.

“You can see the diversity that’s reflective of our city. I think everyone who can and has aspirations can definitely come here,” he says. “And see what WEDI is all about to be able to take advantage of them wherever they are.”

The owner of Malkia & Co. Gourmets, Nathalie Zolamalu, says she’s grateful to have an organization like WEDI where she was able to start her business. You can find her right inside the West Side Bazaar at 1432 Niagara Street.

Meantime, she wants you to keep in mind that starting a business isn’t easy.

“First, you have to make sure that this is what you want. Start reaching out, ask any questions,” she says. “And most importantly is being consistent on what you want. The beginning isn’t easy.”

WEDI is looking for more businesses to fill up these few open spaces inside the Bazaar on Niagara Street.

“We are looking now for more retail businesses to fill up the first floor, so we have a few openings you can go right onto our website,” Welch says. “And the requirement would be that you have not had an established business.”

Click here to apply.