They told him many barriers hindered their work, including their own lack of knowledge about how to structure and effectively manage an organization, raise and track finances, and present their own case so others would want to support them. Armed with only a $25,000 grant, Woodson resigned his position as a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, and launched the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise.
There have been many lean times over the years. But Woodson and the Center have remained true to those principles, and used them for some important victories, such as empowering resident management of public housing; giving low-income neighborhood leaders a voice in public policy; helping them create partnerships in the revitalization of urban neighborhoods; and developing a unique initiative that is effectively reducing youth violence in schools and communities throughout the nation. Over the years, the Center has brought training and technical assistance to more than 2600 leaders of faith-based and community organizations in 39 states and helped them attain more than 10 times the funding expended by the Center. On November 15, 2016, the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise rebranded as the Woodson Center as a tribute our Founder and President, Robert L. "Bob" Woodson, Sr. (pictured right).