CEDS Finance

A nonprofit organization

CEDS Finance (CEDS) is a non-profit community development financial institution (CDFI) committed to helping immigrant, refugee, and underserved small business owners achieve the American Dream of financial self-sufficiency through access to capital as well as free business training and technical assistance. CEDS Finance provides business microloans for up to $100,000 in the Denver metro area. It is the only organization in Colorado that provides Islamic-compliant, or riba-free, business financing (murabahas) and it provides those throughout the state. 

CEDS Finance works to remove barriers for entrepreneurs to be successful in their businesses; there is no minimum required credit score on any financial product at CEDS Finance and there is no collateral required under $20,000. CEDS Finance underwriters utilize character-based underwriting to truly get to know the business, business owner, and their community so they can ensure the loan will be a catalyst, not a burden. The goal is to help entrepreneurs to get affordable capital, and build up their credit scores and business knowledge so that eventually they can graduate from CEDS Finance to a bank, and participate in the financial sector.


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."


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.

Background Statement

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. Today, CEDS Finance serves immigrants, refugees, and other underserved small business owners. Clients who qualify for a loan are provided with free technical assistance and business advisory services.

Organization Data


Organization name

CEDS Finance

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)




Organization Size

Large Organization


10660 E Colfax Ave Suite B
Aurora, CO 80010

Service areas

Arapahoe County, CO, US



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