J.E.T. Initiative Launches First Collaborative Program

Alicia Smith

Partners Host Small Business Seminar Series

The Junction Economic Transformation (J.E.T.) Initiative in partnership with the Lucas County Library has launched the first of its collaborative community programming. The J.E.T. Initiative Small Business Seminar Series is an 8-week program geared toward the residents and businesses in the Junction neighborhood. The seminar series, held Wednesday evenings at the Mott Branch Library, was launched April 13, 2022, and incorporates business, as well as financial curriculum to assist existing and aspiring owners with planning for their small businesses.

“We are so excited for this collaboration,” said Alicia Smith, Director of Junction Coalition.” The course covers most of the areas that every business deals with on a regular basis. It provides tips, tools, and knowledge in a safe environment. Attendees will also be able to schedule 1-on-1 meetings with advisors to help apply the course content to their specific challenges. As important as information is to success, the JET Center is building a network of community entrepreneurs that hold equal value. We want to help all businesses in the Junction community and beyond access the resources they need to succeed.”

This iteration of the series has 23 registered participants attending both in person and via Zoom. The seminar curriculum includes the One Year Action Plan presented by Linda Fayerweather of the Toledo Lucas County Library. The financial curriculum is prepared and taught by the J.E.T. Initiative. Participants are given weekly homework that will culminate with a capstone presentation from each participant at the end of 8 weeks.

“We want to put entrepreneurs in our community in position for success,” said Ocie Irons, Junction Coalition Economic Educator for the JET Initiative. “This course will give entrepreneurs the chance to set themselves and their businesses up for growth with a plan that they can use to achieve their goals.”

“The Small Business Seminar Series has been enlightening and empowering,” said Pamela DeWalt, a TUFCU member and ECDI client enrolled in the series. “Between the presenters and the resources being provided to us, we have everything we need as entrepreneurs to run a successful business,” she continued.

The Small Business Seminar Series is the first program to be offered by the J.E.T Initiative. It is the goal of the partners to offer the Small Business Seminar Series again along with a Digital Connect Cohort through the Women’s Business Center in quarters 3 and 4 of 2022.

“ECDI is excited to be a part of and provide hands on educational opportunities within the Junction Neighborhood. Our partnership with the other members of the Initiative speaks to ECDI’s mission of investing in people to create economic and social change.” – April Welch, ECDI Relationship Manager Toledo Market.


The J.E.T. Initiative is a collaborative partnership of the Junction Coalition, Warren A.M.E. Church, Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union and The Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI).  The initiative is made possible by grant funding from the ProMedica Junction Neighborhood Fund of the Greater Toledo Community Foundation. Its purpose is to provide individuals and small businesses in Toledo’s Junction Neighborhood support through various program offerings that include business coaching and advising; education and training, access to capital. For more information on the Initiative, its partners and programs please visit the J.E.T. Initiative at https://www.ecdi.org/jet

Greater Toledo Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 900 individual current funds with assets of approximately $377 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses, and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information on the Foundation, visit the organization’s website at www.toledocf.org or follow them on Facebook or LinkedIn.