Rooted in Neighborhoods
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.
The poverty rate for Black residents in Baltimore (24.5%) is twice as high as the rate for white residents (12%).
Black-owned businesses representing only about 26% of all businesses in the city in 2018, despite Baltimore's Black population accounting for approximately 60% of the total.
Creating Positive Change In Their Neighborhoods
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— main street businesses providing basic amenities and a non profit providing out of school time health and wellness solution for students etc. If we focus on the neighborhood leaders, we can find the entrepreneurs making a difference in their community.
IW partners with local community and economic development organizations, offering its core assets as a resource to effectively execute place-based economic development plans that increase commerce and ensure communities have access to resources that strengthen their lives. Local partners include community development corporations, associations, and other anchor institutions. In specified communities, IW engages existing businesses and social enterprises to provide added support, as needed, to strengthen already existing community assets.
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.
Link to Community Post