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AEDA's  Programs and Initiatives

Empowering Asian Minnesotans through Knowledge, skills, and access to wealth-building opportunities.

We provide an integrated suite of asset and economic development services. Our programs and initiatives include:

  • Asset Building & Financial Empowerment

  • ​Small Business Development

  • Arts & Cultural Placemaking​

Our initiatives include the Little Mekong cultural destination corridor to foster Southeast Asian arts and entrepreneurs. And cooperative development to increase property ownership by local small businesses as a preservation and anti-displacement strategy. We promote our programs through separate social media platforms and websites.

Arts and Cultural Placemaking

In 2011 we began branding St. Paul’s University Avenue Asian business corridor in the Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods. We began calling it Little Mekong in order to leverage SE Asian art, culture, food, and entertainment to foster culture preservation, support and prevent displacement of small businesses, and build financial sustainability for the district. Through this initiative, we have created public art, improved storefront facades, created public spaces, branded and marketed Little Mekong.

Asset Building & Financial Empowerment

AEDA provides financial education, coaching, and credit-building loans and other financial products to businesses and individuals seeking to build their financial capabilities and increase their assets. We are currently implementing a major initiative: developing the Little Mekong Cooperative Market, which will increase local ownership of property and locally owned businesses in the Little Mekong District (of Frogtown and Rondo in St. Paul). This initiative will increase local ownership in an area where the majority of residents and businesses are renters of color.