Honor Roll: MORTAR

The Honor Roll is a bi-weekly series that highlights the amazing work that’s being done in the social sector to build economic self-sufficiency and pathways out of poverty.

While scrolling through the Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs list, I came across an organization that has brought to life my as-of-yet-unrealized vision for Hartford.

MORTAR Cincinnati is a nonprofit that is “building communities through entrepreneurship.”  The team behind MORTAR, Derrick Braziel (co-founder), William Thomas II (co-founder) and Allen Woods, are three men who believe in “the power of a dollar and a dream” to make a difference in underserved communities.

Latching onto rapid development occurring in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, MORTAR is making sure that economic growth doesn’t pass the typically marginalized by — something I’ve blogged about here before. MORTAR believes that residents have the power to be an important part of local development and build their own successful businesses in the neighborhoods they already call home.

One of MORTAR’s primary projects is a 9-week entrepreneurship course that they offer to nontraditional business owners.

The course comes with:

  • training materials
  • workshops
  • legal consultations
  • business support
  • brand development
  • pitch opportunities
  • one-on-one mentorship provided by SCORE

From the website: “We believe that entrepreneurship can change lives. When people have ownership in an area, they also have pride. This pride then manifests itself in the way that the residents become involved in their neighborhoods; no longer feeling like spectators watching life happen from the “cheap seats” – but instead taking the field, making plays as productive members of society.

Check them out on their website, connect with them on Twitter and Facebook, and make a donation to support this great organization!



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