The mission of CEDS Finance is to support the American Dream of financial self-sufficiency, by assisting refugees, immigrants, and low to moderate income people in Metro Denver who desire to own or strengthen businesses, develop assets, and empower themselves financially.
CEDS Finance was founded in 2009 by a state coordinator for refugees and an Ethiopian immigrant who collectively identified the financial need for refugees and immigrants - that is an understanding of the American banking system and building credit. CEDS Finance was founded to provide an ability for refugees to achieve financial self-sufficiency. Clients who qualify for a loan are provided with technical assistance and business advisory services.
Originally from Ethiopia, Suleyman Abbagero and his wife Eyerusalem Halle came to CEDS for financing to open their coffee shop - My Cafe - in the Aurora Town Center in 2013. In less than three years, they had paid their loan in full never having missed a payment. Now, they have hired an additional two part-time employees and continue to grow their business. They are an embodiment of how the sustainable economic development of refugees can not only improve their own lives, but benefit the community at large. Suleyman explains it this way:
"Ethiopians are from one of the poorest countries in the world. Life has taught us a lesson to be strong on what to believe in. To work hard, to never give up. Ethiopians have contributed that to this community."