North Minneapolis-based entrepreneur and activist Jesse Ross is on a mission to cultivate a space where underrepresented small business owners can thrive. According to CBS News, he is acquiring a building in the neighborhood that will be transformed into an entrepreneurial hub for local diverse founders.
The 68,000-square-foot structure, which sits at 2518 North Second Street, is part of an initiative created by Ross dubbed the Wealth Re-Distribution Project. He wants to utilize the building to provide commercial rental space for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and women-owned enterprises.
Ross, who has deep roots in North Minneapolis, believes the project will amplify and celebrate the creativity and innovation that exists within the neighborhood. “A community that I feel like is one of the most overlooked and under-resourced communities in the country, but one of the most vibrant and rich communities I’ve ever been in in my whole life,” he shared in a statement, according to the news outlet. “In the next 10 years there will be tons of people, probably hundreds of thousands of people that will drive right by this space and this could be the potential missing middle.”
Ross is aiming to have the project fully funded by the end of 2022 and hopes to kick off the renovation process next year.
There are many projects being led throughout the country that are centered on creating spaces that foster innovation for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. In September, Diddy invested in a Miami-based space for creatives called Resources for Every Creator (REC).
“Our goal is to make sure that independent creators have the information, tools, and resources needed to win and level the playing field,” the mogul shared in a statement. “This partnership is about the future of the creator economy and helping REC expand to serve more creators in cities and countries around the world.”