Allen Woods from MORTAR on driving inclusive community development through supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs
“(Our program) has a complete cultural competency. That is something that, as we were on our journey to try to find a curriculum that worked well for our participants, that was one of the things that really was amiss in most of the areas that we were looking. It was an inability to speak to the black experience.”
“If there’s already an organization that is working there, if there is already a culturally competent curriculum…we’re not going to come to the city to try to take over what is already happening there, because there are way too many places in America that don’t have this infrastructure for us to go to places that already do.”
– Allen Woods, Co-founder and Executive Director of MORTAR
MORTAR is a Cincinnati-based accelerator working to help historically marginalized entrepreneurs get the resources they need to start and run successful businesses. Whereas most accelerators pull from as large a pool of entrepreneurs as possible, MORTAR has taken the opposite approach, starting with one specific neighborhood in Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine, and designing a curriculum to be both relevant and culturally competent for that community. In this episode, Alex sat down with Allen Woods, the Co-founder and Executive Director of MORTAR, to discuss the growth and evolution of the organization, the advantages of localization when it comes to entrepreneurial support, and Allen’s own entrepreneurial journey.
About Money + Meaning
Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. The series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors.