Created To Serve A Need
In 2021, we launched our Inclusive Business Incubator (IBI) program, a cohort-based mentorship-driven accelerator beginning our commitment to support BIPOC and women entrepreneurs by removing obstacles and building equity. For example, as startups grow, they often face restricted cash flow, lack of consulting and infrastructure support, or inadequate access to vital financing. As a result, IBI aims to rectify issues that disproportionately impact minority and women-owned businesses. The Scrap Exchange is well-positioned to provide the support that reverses these trends. We have leasable space and the internal support to assist businesses experiencing barriers to entry. This work has never been more important as our city navigates a pandemic and business closures reach a dangerous level.
After a year of watching the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic close many local businesses, The Scrap Exchange realized that we could no longer stand on the sidelines as our neighbors faced a period of sustained struggle. We have concluded that it is our imperative to help and that we are uniquely qualified to assist because of the land resources and board expertise at our disposal.
Who We Are Seeking To Help
Our Inclusive Business Incubator program targets local, minority and women-owned companies that show great scaling potential or on the verge of growth and expansion based on our financial analysis. We support businesses during their early stages to remove barriers and actively help participants scale their growth to reach full sustainability sooner.
Positive Impact On Our Durham Community
Everyone talks about equity and inclusion but these words are diluted without meaningful action. The Scrap Exchange stands ready to partner with businesses to create a more diverse, successful, and vibrant Durham community. Our location, just over a mile from Downtown, puts the Reuse Arts District in the heart of Durham both culturally and physically. As the city seeks to revitalize itself through painstaking planning and policy decisions, we will readily complement Durham’s development goals by providing a seeding ground for businesses that showcase equity and inclusion. Rather than succumbing to the downsides of gentrification, our Inclusion Business Incubator program will develop blossoming businesses to retain an inclusive mix of constituents in our portion of the historic Lakewood Shopping Center. Whereas the shopping center previously teetered on the precipice of collapse and abandonment, our efforts have boosted commerce, service to the community, and tax revenue.