While IW’s overall vision works to build sustainable neighborhood economies, we recognize this is impossible without meaningful, engaging relationships within these neighborhoods to increase community capacity and trust. IW’s Neighborhood Strategy is rooted in understanding the context and systems that have led to and sustained Baltimore’s neighborhood, racial, and wealth divides.
We believe the community members should play a key role in creating entrepreneurial solutions and decision making processes to create positive change in their neighborhoods. It is important to note that entrepreneurs present in many different ways— corner stores, in-home businesses, etc. If we focus on the neighborhood leaders, we can find the entrepreneurs making a difference in their community.
IW has partnered with the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA) to create a user-friendly neighborhood analysis tool called the Community Guidepost. The Guidepost allows users to evaluate neighborhoods across areas of interest such as growth and occupancy, workforce development, real estate, crime and safety, and equity in order to show how a given community fairs over time and how it compares to others.