Nonprofit Innovation Works provides marketing, expansion opportunities to Baltimore small businesses

A Baltimore nonprofit is providing resources to support small businesses and help them thrive.

When you walk into Open Works in Greenmount West, the smell of coffee welcomes you, thanks to Travis Bell’s coffee shop, Black Acres Roastery. It’s a passion he turned into profit.

“I started back in 2017 off of a thought that we could use more coffee in Baltimore,” Bell told 11 News. “I think small businesses are the heartbeat of Baltimore.”

Sometimes, that heartbeat needs a little help to keep pumping. The nonprofit Innovation Works provides that extra support in an effort to close the racial wealth divide in Baltimore City by helping businesses thrive.

“I’ve been able to have team meetings with them regarding just our projections as a business, like where they think we should go and what we should do, legal assistance, accounting,” Bell told 11 News. “Being able to just reach out to them and communicate to them some of the needs that we have has been really pivotal for us.”

Jay Nwachu, the president and CEO of Innovation Works, told 11 News that his group supports about 190 social enterprises in Baltimore City with everything from mentorship to educational resources and with capital to take their business to the next level.

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