LOUISVILLE, Ky. — OneWest, the community development nonprofit committed to elevating our entire city through commercial development growth in the West End of Louisville, announced the organization received a $500,000 grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to bolster The Plan Room, an accelerator program targeting Black, minority, and women-owned businesses in the construction industry. The Plan Room offers training, education, professional service support, mentoring, advocacy resources, funds to support capital needs, and networking designed for operational and revenue growth.
“With The Rockefeller Foundation grant, we intend to increase from 20 to 40 companies served, which will grow local minority contractor participation in procurement opportunities. Another goal is to boost the number of local Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified contractors in the area,” said Donovan Taylor, Director of The Plan Room.
In addition to client services, The Plan Room program participants have access to a physical space at 1815 W. Broadway for training, co-working/meeting space, and wide format printing to prepare bids. Program participants can visit the facility and access computers and software applications for administrative needs, contracting to bid, and individualized capacity-building resources (i.e., online training, estimating/bidding tools, etc.).
“Although many nonprofits work to address inequities in the West End, OneWest is the only one focused on commercial development and the built environment,” said Evon Smith, President/CEO of OneWest. “We are increasing business ownership and employment opportunities, and we are grateful for our local partners and tremendous national funders like The Rockefeller Foundation who share our vision of empowerment.”
With the establishment of The Plan Room in 2021, OneWest has expanded resources for MBEs. In addition, OneWest has raised over $10M in capital funds for commercial and economic development projects in Louisville’s West End and secured several six-figure loans for major commercial projects. The organization is also helping small business owners by providing a pathway to property ownership, acquiring 200,000 square feet of commercial real estate space, improving the built environment and encouraging collaboration.
To learn more about The Plan Room, visit www.theplanroom.org.
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