Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI)

WEDI strengthens communities through a continuum of educational and financial resources, removing systemic barriers to economic equity for all Western New Yorkers. Services are only provided to clients who live within Erie and Niagara Counties.


WEDI (the Westminster Economic Development Initiative) was founded in 2006 by members of the Westminster Presbyterian Church to improve the quality of life for underserved residents of Buffalo’s West Side, which was increasingly populated by immigrants and refugees from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

The organization’s initial Education programming supported elementary-aged children to achieve literacy. This focus area eventually expanded to include grades 1-12 with additional programming focused on soft skills/social-emotional intelligence, enrichment activities, STEM, financial literacy, college preparation, and workforce/career development.

In 2012, WEDI added a second focus area, Economic Development, to support underserved entrepreneurs to launch and sustain small businesses. In doing so, WEDI expanded its geographical reach to Buffalo’s East Side, which has a predominantly Black population. Today, WEDI runs six programs including the West Side Bazaar, a small business incubator offering delicious food and unique products from a diverse group of cultures and ethnicities.

Services are only provided to clients who live within Erie or Niagara County.

Services Provided

Economic and Site Development

  • Economic Development

Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting
  • Forming a Business
  • Market Plan Development

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Microloans (Specialty)


  • Formal Mentoring Programs
  • One-on-One Counseling
  • Peer Mentoring

Nonprofit and Social Enterprise

  • Technical Services

Starting a Business

  • Forming a Business
  • Startup Business Counseling

Technical Assistance

  • Bookkeeping/Accounting Software Training
  • Commercialization
  • Virtual Consulting and Online Services
  • Website Development


  • Business Management Training
  • Business Plan Training and Assistance
  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
  • Online Courses and Videos

Accelerators and Incubators

  • Incubator

Events and Community Building

  • Neighborhood Fairs and Festivals
Contact Information
Lou Hall
436 Grant Street
Buffalo, NY 14213
Buffalo, NY 14213