CCD Fellow Program Starting

We are super excited to announce that we are starting a Christian Community Development Fellows Program. The aim of the program is to give young adults who feel called to pursue a career in Christian Community Development the opportunity to learn and serve in all areas of our organization for a year. Throughout their year of service they will be required to also read a series of books as well become certified in various programs.   Our hope, over the coming years, is that we are able to grow our staff as well as equipping a new generation of CCD leaders to serve were ever God may call them.  Until we are able to raise money to provide stipends for Fellows, at this point they must first raise support before to fund their year of service.  In light of this please consider making a gift to support our CCD Fellows program.

We are starting off with a bang with Benjamin Shenk.  Here’s his Bio:

IMG_0636.JPG (1)Born and raised on a small farm in South Central Pennsylvania, I am the youngest of four; with two older sisters and an older brother. In addition to my immediate family, the Lord has blessed me with an incredible extended family, friends, and mentors , who have been constant in their love and support from the time I was born.

I’ve both grown up and attended college in the town of Shippensburg, PA, and in May of 2015 I graduated from Shippensburg University, after spending four years there studying Entrepreneurship, Personal Financial Planning, and Spanish. While at Shippensburg University, I can remember the Lord grabbing hold of my life in a new way, as I realized to a fuller extent the power and beauty of the Gospel of Christ. During that time the Lord drew me into leadership and service roles both on campus, where I was blessed with the opportunity to serve in the leadership of a student fellowship group, as well as in the community of Shippensburg.

Having spent time working in a range of internships and jobs related to my fields of study in college, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that the God who is reconciling all things was calling me to use my experiences and heart for others to ultimately serve Him. After a season of seeing God’s grace through the opening and closing of doors, I am now excited to see this call coming to fruition as I join St. Roch CDC in humbly serving and learning from the community of St. Roch while I strive to share the Gospel in both word and deed as a Fellow.



Tuesday, May 3rd is GiveNOLA Day and we need your help to ensure that life giving initiatives can continue on by supporting St. Roch CDC.

We are so grateful for all of our guests and raving fans that visit us often.  Knowing that everyone’s situation is unique, we ask that you make a gift that you would deem significant on May 3rd. Imagine the impact we can all make in one day! We’ll send a reminder back out on May 2nd.

give nola imageWhat is GiveNOLA Day?

Hosted on Tuesday, May 3rd by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, GiveNOLA Day is the community’s one-day, online giving event to inspire people to give generously to the nonprofit organizations that are making our region stronger, creating a thriving community for all.


It’s our day to come together as one! Every dollar donated from midnight to midnight on May 3rd will be increased with additional “lagniappe” dollars provided by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and our generous GiveNOLA Day sponsors. Last year, we raised $4 million dollars from 34,000+ donations around the nation!


Built on successful models from other cities, GiveNOLA Day raises money for the community, brings new donors and awareness to local nonprofits, and helps make our region a more vibrant place to live. GiveNOLA Day is tied to a national event called Give Local America where community foundations across America are asking their communities to give back on May 3, 2016.

How can I participate?

Everybody can participate on GiveNOLA Day! Individuals can make online donations to participating nonprofits. The minimum donation is $10. All donations made on May 3rd give your favorite nonprofit the opportunity to earn lagniappe dollars, awards, and hourly prizes.

What nonprofits are participating?

713 nonprofits across the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s 13-parish region are participating in GiveNOLA Day on May 3, 2016. The participating nonprofits are working on a broad range of issues: Arts & Culture, Animal, Community Improvement, Education, Environment, Health, Housing, Human Services, Public Safety & Crime Prevention, and Youth Development.

Launch NOLA Cohort 2 Pitch Competition

12189184_1685567001659610_671967788087113596_o03.14.16 |  6:30 PM – 8:30 PM | St. Roch Community Church

New Orleans is bursting with entrepreneurial efforts. Many are working hard to bring economic revival to one of America’s greatest cities.  People love New Orleans for her food, music, culture, architecture, people and more.  However, many who are vital in New Orleans being so cherished are often left out and cut off from human ecosystem that is benefiting most from the rapid urban renewal.  For us, it’s not an “either or” but “a both and” so we are are dedicated to providing business training, support & affordable resources to underserved entrepreneurs, empowering them to create sustainable, successful business in New Orleans. Did you know that female-headed family households in which at least one person owned a microbusiness generate $8,000 to $13,000 more in annual household income than similar households without a business owner?

Launch NOLA, an initiative of St. Roch Community Development Corporation, is having a pitch competition for graduates of our 9 week Co-Starters class at St. Roch Community Church, 1738 St. Roch Ave. Come cheer on local small business entrepreneurs who are working hard to fulfill their dreams and even vote for the People’s Choice Award. Entrepreneurs in the fields of food-based businesses, hair products & services, technology, finance, health, social services, fashion and more will be vying for cash and in-kind prizes.  Refreshments to be served. Learn more at

RSVP for free here.

Launching local entrepreneurs in New Orleans’s 8th Ward

By Rudy Carrasco from Partners Worldwide

New Orleans-based St. Roch CDC started its first business class for local entrepreneurs in August. A member of Partners Worldwide’s global network since 2014, St. Roch CDC’s commitment to local empowerment is a ray of hope for community residents.

A New York Times article marking 10 years since Hurricane Katrina noted that New Orleans’s continues to be a metro with “two cities. One is booming, more vibrant than ever… the other is returning to pre-Katrina realities of poverty and routine violence, but with a new sense of dislocation for many as well.”

The leaders at St. Roch CDC are determined to help change this narrative by walking alongside local residents to create businesses and prosperity for themselves. Ben McLeish, executive director, says, “Entrepreneurial activity is 56% higher here than the national average. We are so excited about walking with [local entrepreneurs] as they grow or start their own small business.”

The 18 entrepreneurs in the current business class — called Launch NOLA — include a woman considering a food truck-based restaurant after years of selling food at second line parades. Another entrepreneur has a fitness-focused concept that could be scalable. All class participants are incredibly excited, says McLeish.

The Launch NOLA class is not St. Roch CDC’s first effort to support local business development. To date they have provided an array of assistance to small businesses and nonprofits including Staple Goods Gallery, Studios and Art Collective, A Desire for Change and Enlightened Through Travel. St. Roch CDC is also a Kiva Zip Trustee and endorsed a $3,000 loan to Koreole, a Korean-Creole fusion restaurant that started in April.

In addition to support for local entrepreneurs, St. Roch CDC created and operates Restoration Thrift, a thrift store in the community with a quadruple bottom line: job creation; diversified funding stream for the ministry; excellent and affordable shopping for customers; and opportunities for community residents to give back through in-kind donations and volunteer service.

McLeish began living in New Orleans in 2002, when he was a staffer at Desire Street Ministries, and holds a masters degree in nonprofit management from the University of Georgia. He is grateful to God for the growth of St. Roch CDC’s business support initiative and desires to engage businesspeople in mentoring partnerships. “We are working to recruit mentors, people that will champion the cause of these entrepreneurs,” he says. “As a business person you get offered opportunities to sit on a finance committee or write a check, but rarely are you asked to be what God gifted you to be.”

Partners Worldwide is working with Ben to identify a Business Affiliate Team to help St. Roch CDC achieve its goal to ignite local entrepreneurship in the 8th Ward.

“In the world of business as mission, the allies are few and far between,” says McLeish. “Having friends like Partners Worldwide championing our efforts helps us press on and support underserved urban entrepreneurs.”

Pray about the growth of the Launch NOLA initiative and for the identification of a Business Affiliate team to partner with St. Roch CDC.

The opportunity is ripe for local impact. “St Roch will be an influence in developing career opportunities in that community,” says Denny Vander Molen, President of Vermeer MidSouth and business volunteer with Partners Worldwide’s Mississippi-based partnerships. “With the challenges seen over the last decade and even prior to the storm, St. Roch will be the change agent as they support solid business growth through value based instruction and mentoring.”

Launch NOLA application is now open.


Click here to apply online or download a paper application. 


The application deadline is Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:59 PM. Applications received after this date and time will be considered for our next classes in January 2016.  The course is 10 weeks long, starting Tuesday, September 1, 2015 and will be from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm.  We are still finalizing a location but, in general, it will occur in or around the St. Roch neighborhood in New Orleans.


We will be reviewing applications and selecting ideas that we believe are the most likely to succeed. The Launch NOLA program, an initiative of St. Roch CDC, is based in the St. Roch neighborhood but is not limited to businesses and entrepreneurs currently located in St. Roch. We want all of our students to be able to take the lessons that they’ve learned from our program and plant their businesses in their own neighborhoods, making a difference for their community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Classes are held in the St. Roch area, and if selected for the entrepreneurship course, your attendance is MANDATORY.

This 10 week course includes:
–  Nine week course binder and materials .
–  Access to legal support.
–  Business support and brand development strategies.
–  One-on-one mentorship to provide guidance throughout the course.
–  Opportunity to pitch your idea in week 10 in front of potential investors and customers.
–  Ongoing support system provided by Launch NOLA and partner organizations.

The course cost is $150. Payment plans are available.
If you’re unable to pay the full amount, please let us know as there may be scholarships available.


Launch NOLA is an initiative of St. Roch CDC whose vision is to see individuals empowered to change their lives, families and community. St. Roch CDC’s mission is to serve as a catalyst to help lift people out of material and asset poverty and wholistically restore our community. Launch NOLA provides Business training, support, & affordable resources for urban entrepreneurs, empowering them to create sustainable, successful business in New Orleans.


If you have any questions, please contact us at or call 504-564-7739 and we can set up a time to meet with you at our office located at 2025 St. Claude Avenue.

Support Young Entrepreneurs This Saturday #Lemonade Day

lemonadeWe are a local Louisiana partner with the National Lemonade Day.  Lemonade Day  is about “Empowering Today’s Youth to Become Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs.” This year’s lemonade day is Saturday May 2, 2015.  We are sponsoring 9 young entrepreneurs at 3 lemonade stands throughout the community.  Training for any interested young entrepreneur will be April 24th and May 1 at St. Roch Community Church, 1738 St. Roch Ave.

Stands will be at:

Stop by for some fresh cold lemonade and to support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

Help Provide Micro-Financing


We are an official Kiva Zip Trustee ( We are currently working with Koreole to help them with their start-up investment needs. Would you be willing to be a part of her micro-loan? Check out

Koreole in the News:

LAUNCH NOLA Training April 16, 17, 18, 2015


Believe business can help end poverty?

Want to bring real change to New Orleans?

Come learn how Christians like you can walk alongside  underserved entrepreneurs as they start & grow small businesses and in so doing they change their lives, families and community.

Calling on business owners as well as professionals in tech, marketing, advertising, finance and more!

Launch from Fancy Rhino on Vimeo.



Hosted by St. Roch CDC

Location: St. Roch Community Church

1738 St. Roch Ave. New Orleans, LA 70117

Thursday April 16, 6 pm – 9 pm (dinner included)

Friday April 17, 6 pm – 9 pm (dinner included)

Saturday April 18, 8 am – 5 pm (breakfast & lunch included)

Register today at:

LAUNCH NOLA is a program of St. Roch CDC that offers business training, support, and affordable resources to underserved entrepreneurs, empowering them to create sustainable, successful businesses allowing their families and communities to thrive.

St. Roch CDC is a 501(c)3 Christian organization that offers Christ-centered programs and services to help meet the physical, spiritual, economic and cultural needs of underserved individuals and families in the St. Roch and surrounding neighborhoods. We seek to equip people with training and resources to improve their lives & community and connect people with a broader network of people who will help champion their efforts so that  dignity, families and our community is restored.

Register today at:

Learn more at: &

Countdown to LAUNCH

Training Schedule

Day 1 – MLK Meets Main

Thursday, April 16, 2015

06:00 pm – Welcome, Prayer, and Dinner

06:20 pm – Drilling Down on the Problem

07:10 pm – Roundtable Discussion

07:40 pm – St. Roch CDC:Vision & History

08:00 pm – Break

08:15 pm – Launch – Vision and History

08:45 pm – Your LAUNCH Path

Day 2 – Personnel Development 

Friday, April 17, 2015

06:00 pm – Welcome, Prayer, & Dinner

06:20 pm – Introduction to Business Support Services

06:45 pm –         Roles & Responsibilities

07:15 pm – Break

07:30 pm – Business Mentoring

08:00 pm – Q&A

08:20 pm – Prayer

08:40 pm – Community Impact

Day 2 – Facilitator Training 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

08:00 am – Introduction to the Urban  CO.STARTERS Curriculum

09:15 am – Facilitating in the MLK  Context

10:00 am- The Canvas

12:30 pm – Lunch and Q&A

01:15 pm – Week by Week

04:45 pm – Wrap up

Register today at:

Need a job? Jobs for Life Training Starts April 27th


St. Roch CDC’s Jobs for Life Training

Held at St. Roch Community Church

1738 St. Roch Ave. NOLA 70117

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays  & Fridays April 27th-May 19th, 1-3 pm

For more information, call 504-564-7739 or e-mail to register.


As a graduate of the Jobs For Life program, in just 4 weeks you will…

  • be able to speak more confidently in front of a group
  • have a professional resume you will be proud of
  • meet with local employers & learn what they look for when hiring
  • be prepared and confident in job interviews
  • have a clearer picture of what you want in life
  • feel better about who you are and where you are going
  • have a deeper faith in God and His plan for you.