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February 21, 2021 / 2021 Power 50

2021 Power 50: 50. Kim B. Hawkins

Kim B. Hawkins

After starting her career more than two decades ago at community lender and business advisory nonprofit HEDCO Inc., Kim Hawkins recently was named CEO of the organization that serves minority-owned businesses, which have historically had a harder time accessing credit and loans.

That inequality was brought to the forefront during the pandemic, when minority-owned firms experienced difficulties accessing a financial lifeline from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

HEDCO led the charge in trying to address those needs, working with the city of Hartford, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and Capital For Change to launch an emergency small business grant program.

HEDCO’s mission is to provide loans, incubator space and training to small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the state, with an emphasis on helping businesses and entrepreneurs in urban neighborhoods who may not be served by commercial lenders.

Prior to being named CEO, Hawkins served as vice president and chief operating officer since 2015. She started working at HEDCO as an independent consultant in 1996 before coming on-board as a full-time employee in 1998. She founded the Business Resource Center at HEDCO in 2006 and was an HBJ C-suite Award recipient in 2018.

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