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Entrepreneur

Grassroots Business Incubator Has A Plan To Support Black Entrepreneurs

When DeWayne Barton returned to Asheville, North Carolina’s Burton Street neighborhood in 2001, he found a community reeling from years of devastating blows. Like many historically Black neighborhoods across the country, the Burton Street community was the victim of highway expansions in the 1950s and 1960s that quite literally tore the neighborhood apart. That plus the effects of the crack cocaine epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s had turned Burton Street into a neighborhood in need of saving. “That urban renewal period, 1950 to 1970, is what really dropped the hammer and really crushed the neighborhood,” says Barton, who was born in Asheville but grew up in Washington, D.C.

The Coworking Space Putting Black Moms’ Startup Dreams First

Baltimore, Maryland - For Baltimore-based childbirth educator and doula Ashlee Jaye Johnson, finding the right working space was crucial to give her startup the consistent effort it needed. It’s not so easy to find that with a child under 3 years old. “It would have been really expensive to send my child to a daycare or something like that,” Jaye Johnson says. The average cost of full time childcare for an infant in Baltimore City is upwards of $200 a week or $10,300 a year, according to the Maryland Family Network. “And also I just prefer for her to be closer to me.” But Jaye Johnson was already finding traction for her business, Birth Class in a Box.
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