Neighborhood Strategy

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Investing in Baltimore’s historically disinvested neighborhoods

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.

A black and white map of Baltimore highlights four Baltimore neighborhoods and the IW collaborators within them: Hilton Street Corridor (Community Partner: Kingdom Life Church), Sandtown-Winchester (SEs: Black Arts District, Fresh at the Avenue / Community Partner: No Boundaries Coalition), Harlem Park (SEs: Breathe4Sure, Fight Blight Bmore, Parity / Community Partner: No Boundaries Coalition), and Penrose-Fayette (SE: Epic Art Universe / Community Partner: Fayette Street Outreach). Two entrepreneur quotes are called out. 1. Dion Bowen, CEO, Epic Art Universe (in Penrose-Fayette) says, "The networks and entrepreneurs that exist in Baltimore are being cultivated into a social enterprise engine that, with the correct resources, can create change. IW is helping carve out that presence." 2. Bree Jones, Founder & CEO, Parity (in Harlem Park) says, "What is truly unique about IW is that it looks at its work from a systems perspective and focuses on undoing harm done to black and brown communities by asking, 'How do we reposition the power dynamic associated with wealth so that we look at entrepreneurs as whole people with agency and wisdom?'"

Top 5 Categories of Solutions our Entrepreneurs are Providing in Baltimore Neighborhoods

  1. Community Development
  2. Youth Development
  3. Food Access
  4. Product/Manufacturing
  5. Real Estate

BNIA Community Guidepost

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.

Check it out!
Check out all of the social enterprises in IW’s Pipeline
Enterprise Directory