SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —A Syracuse businesswoman is working to help other entrepreneurs launch their start-ups.
The owner of the retail store Ecodessa, Caeresa Richardson, created a Retail Incubator Program.
It is in place to help black, female entrepreneurs secure a store location downtown where owning a business is more expensive.
“The challenge with locating in an urban metro is the cost,” Richardson said.
Richardson is currently the only black-owned retail store on South Salina Street, and the goal of the program is to change that.
“Not all of us have parents with millions of dollars and investment funds and all of these things that we can reach out to invest in our start-ups,” Richardson said. “And not all of us have savings that we can use on our own.”
The incubator program was created in partnership with the Central New York Community Foundation to give qualifying applicants up to $5,000 and secure the applicant a store location downtown.
Richardson chose to follow her dreams of opening her store and said now her goal is to help eliminate the financial burden for other African American entrepreneurs.
“I wanted to find a way to fuse these two passions that I have–passion for business, entrepreneurship, and my passion for community,” Richardson said.
In addition to Richardson’s program, she said there are other resources for black business owners.
“They’re called small business development centers or small business development center resources like the Wise Woman’s business center which is located right in downtown Syracuse,” Richardson said.
The founder and CEO of the Women’s Economic Institute Charlene Tarver is also working to empower black, female entrepreneurs.
The institute is focused on building generational wealth in marginalized communities in Central New York by offering courses, support to educate entrepreneurs in their business development.
“The city of Syracuse has not had the level of business growth specifically for black women-owned businesses and minority women-owned businesses as we’ve seen in other parts of the country and so that’s very concerning,” Tarver said.
And Richardson is hoping to change by helping black-owned businesses and giving consumers more reasons to shop downtown.