Amy Szabo’s foray into microenterprise development began in graduate school as she researched microfinance as a response to human trafficking and poverty. She holds a master's degree in Slavic and Eastern European Studies from The Ohio State University, as well as a bachelor's degree in English from Oklahoma State University. From 2002 to 2004, Amy did humanitarian work in the former Yugoslavia, helping Kosovar Serbs who had been resettled in Belgrade Serbia after the Balkan wars. She also spent time in Athens, Greece, where she designed and built a human trafficking resource and response kit targeted for use by a humanitarian organization with staff throughout Eastern Europe.
Amy is the Economic and Community Development Institute’s resident wordsmith (aka Director of Communications and Development). She is happy to spend her days applying what she learned about microenterprise development as a poverty alleviation strategy internationally to her hometown. In her (vanishingly-small) spare time, Amy is a voracious reader, trained labor doula, part-time craftswoman, and full-time stepmother.
After 30 years of entrepreneurial experience as the founder of Sport Deco Inc. and Linda Joffe & Associates, cancer survivor Linda Joffe undertook the task of turning a line of all natural, home-produced skincare products into a cosmetic line that is shelf stable.
Joffe dug out her college chemistry... October 25th, 2012 | ECDI Spotlight | Read More
Shawn Weese unofficially started his photography business, Weese Photos, in 2006. When he reached his capacity and wanted to expand by opening a studio and purchasing a photo booth to rent out for events, he approached Huntington Bank for a small loan. They sent him to the Economic and Community Development... September 27th, 2012 | ECDI Spotlight | Read More
Sisters and working moms Ayan Yusuf and Safiya Ismail were frustrated because they were unable to find clean, safe daycare center options that fit their second shift work schedules. They knew that other parents faced the same problem. Rather than continuing to look for a solution to their dilemma,... August 30th, 2012 | ECDI Spotlight | Read More
I did not, in fact, know that the National Safety Council estimates that slip and fall accidents cost American businesses $70 billion dollars every year and account for 95 million days of lost work.
At least I didn’t know that until after my conversation with Bill Richardson, the knowledgeable... July 26th, 2012 | ECDI Spotlight | Read More
Growing a small business into a profitable and innovative brand looks easy from the outside. Susan Bowers Fortner knows better.
Using hard work and ingenuity, she has spent her publishing and public relations career making increasing profits and positive branding easier for others. Fortner’s firm,... June 28th, 2012 | ECDI Spotlight | Read More
When Retta Tegegne arrived in the United States with his wife and three children in 2004, he left behind his twelve-year career as a civil engineer in his home country of Ethiopia. While working unskilled jobs to make ends meet, Tegegne sought ways to use his engineering skills and background to support... May 24th, 2012 | ECDI Spotlight | Read More