May 16, 2022 - Business

The Factory in Raleigh wants to attract more Black entrepreneurs

Inside of The Factory
Photo courtesy of The Factory

A new coworking hub open in Raleigh's Glenwood South neighborhood wants to be the go-to place for Black entrepreneurs.

  • The Factory, located at 811 W. Hargett St., offers meeting and event space, as well as tools and storage for entrepreneurs who make their own retail goods.

Why it matters: Just 4% of Black-owned businesses in Raleigh had employees, one recent analysis found. The Factory could provide a stepping stone to growth for some small businesses, Johnny Hackett, its founder and CEO of Black Dollar Corp., told Axios.

  • Entrepreneurship can be an effective path to reducing the wealth gap between white and Black households.
  • A Black business owner is typically 12 times wealthier than Hispanic or Asian business owners, according to the Path to 15|55 initiative, a group that advocates for investing in Black-owned businesses.

Black Dollar was able to fund the creation of The Factory after winning grants from Walmart and the nonprofit SEED Spot.

Details: Before launching The Factory, Hackett created the Black Friday Market in downtown Raleigh. It provides a storefront for dozens of Black-owned retailers.

  • But many of those retailers, he said, needed a place outside of their own homes to store their goods or manufacture them.

Inside of The Factory, individuals can use:

  • Screen printing, heat press and embroidery machines
  • Label makers and refrigerated storage
  • A painting area
  • Candle-making equipment

What they're saying: "There are a lot of Black businesses that have been started during the pandemic," Hackett said. "There is now a big opportunity to give them assistance or help with the foundation."

What's next: Hackett said that he and his partners are already in discussions about how to replicate its services to other cities, such as Durham.

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