‘…introduce yoself, represent yoself….
The mission of the Cultural Business Incubator & Co-op, CBI, is to launch and support socially responsible business clusters in low-to-mid income neighborhoods that promote community development through supporting local ownership and practicing cooperative economics. The Cultural Business Incubator and Co-Op is a platform to collectively develop business solutions that revitalize neighborhoods. CBI’s goals are realized through modules that specifically develop youth entrepreneurship, apprentice programs, start-up and established businesses and community micro finance practices.
So, what does all of this mean? Here’s a quick reference guide defining key phrases in CBI’s mission:
What is a business incubator?
The idea of a business incubator is to provide resources (office space, training, networks,) that develop businesses. CBI supports start-up companies and community members with workshops and training, space and equipment and accelerator programs. CBI supports building the capacity of established businesses by facilitating expansion projects. CBI also aims to facilitate community susu circles and other cooperative economics initiatives.
What is a co-op?
The co-op model is community working at its finest. Co-ops allow a space for pooled resources, shared work and shared wealth. Co-op’s can work a few different ways. At its core, co-op members are also owners and profits are shared by the members instead of external investors. Members of the co-op share resources, services and the work. Members are the voice in business decisions. CBI will assist in forming local co-ops as a vital part of the Cultural Business Hubs. This will include member and business co-op models.
What is a socially responsible business cluster or hub?
It means businesses with a vested interest in the health of the community in which it exists. The current strips with the liquor store, pay day loan, food chain, high priced / low quality grocery store is not a socially responsible hub. A model such as a locally owned juice bar, cultural retail shop, natural hair salon, food co-op and resource center is the hub model option that CBI aims to create. CBI is committed to nurturing businesses that in turn nurture the community.
Why are socially responsible business clusters important in the hood?
One: low income neighborhoods need and deserve healthy options and settings. We like smoothies, affordable organic produce and safe places to gather. Can we take that row of abandoned buildings and put those needs into business there?
Two: low income neighborhoods can build a stronger economic foundation that improves community conditions and positions the people of the neighborhood to assist similar communities to do the same. This changes ‘underserved’ communities to ‘self-served’ community networks.
Three: businesses clusters or hubs create community ‘strongholds’ or zones of goodness in which the businesses can support each other and serve the neighborhood in a ‘sweet spot’ or active example of the benefits of collective work and responsibility- Ujima.
What do you mean ‘cultural’ business?
The creative and cultural industry… It is our niche.
“…those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation.” If you want to read more about the global dialogue on creative and cultural industry,you will enjoy exploring the work and research from this link: Creative Cities.
The Susu Cultural Business incubator focuses on the following sectors: Cultural Retail, Crafts, Design(graphic, fashion, interior, landscape), Gastronomy/Ethnic Food/Health Food, Health & Wellness, Performing and Visual Arts, Cultural Aesthetics.
Questions? Want to get involved?
Leave a comment below or email: susuVendor@gmail.com