Model & Strategy

MORTAR’s mission is to use entrepreneurship for historically marginalized populations as a way to change lives, preserve diverse communities, and stem the wealth gap in the United States. Based in Cincinnati, their multi-pronged strategy includes a culturally relevant entrepreneurship and business development curriculum; access to start-up capital for those who have completed the curriculum; brick and mortar pop-up shops for entrepreneurs; and city-level advocacy to support entrepreneurs of color and female entrepreneurs.

At a Glance
Founded: 2014
Executive Director: Allen Woods
Economic Empowerment
Location of work: Domestic
MORTAR
Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati’s entrepreneurship hub
Meet Allen Woods

MORTAR is led by founder and Executive Director Allen Woods, who also serves as a business consultant and training facilitator for incoming students. Allen has been recognized as a Cincinnati Business Courier 40 Under 40 Business Leader, is a recipient of the John F. Barrett Entrepreneur Vision Award, an Echoing Green BMA Fellow. Allen Woods is also a sought-after public speaker who recently shined on the TEDx stage. As a brand strategist and designer, Allen assisted directly in the growth of hundreds of small businesses and personal brands across the globe.

Impact

The largest demographic of entrepreneurs nationally continues to be Black women (with the number of Black women business owners growing by 89% just in the past year) and that trend remains true in the MORTAR community of students and alumni. 65% of the 261 MORTAR graduates are Black women.

 

38 new businesses were created as well as 79 new jobs following completion of our Entrepreneurship Academy in 2019.

Since 2015, MORTAR has awarded $263,000 in loans, grants, and equity investments to graduates of our program.

  • RT @socreamalicious: Hey Dreamers!!! Shout-out to imix4u on Tik Tok for this fabulous Creamalicious drink idea!!! #socreamalicious #sipasco…
  • RT @thethoughtcard: Entrepreneurship is a wild ride but let me tell you it's been worth all the highs and lack of sleep. This is the long r…
  • RT @Blavity: We need them in the next Olympics, STAT 🥶 // philipwarren_ & mae_meite & elladjbalde via IG
  • RT @BDMorganFdn: Apply today for the May MORTAR at @Bounce cohort, a 15-week small business accelerator for established entrepreneurs. Take…
  • RT @kmshaikh: For those that are looking for good orgs to donate to this year might I suggest the incredible @wearemortar - an amazing Cinc…
  • BAWSE. Well-deserved! Continuously proud of the work you've done, the change you're making, and all that is on the… https://t.co/dCr5edEsTC
  • RT @socreamalicious: My name is Executive Chef Liz Rogers, and I am the owner and founder of Creamalicious. I knocked on many grocery store…
  • Shout out to #Cincinnati's own Chef Liz with @socreamalicious!! Amazing interview with @marclamonthill on @theGrio!… https://t.co/ExYkIniK9P
  • It's SATURDAY MORNING, so you know the VIBES! Congratulations again to #SaturdayMorningVibes on their Grand Opening… https://t.co/1zbRzwYJc9
  • RT @KylaWoodsTV: 📍 Saturday!! I’m excited to return to the stage as your Emcee at one of my favorite venues (Memorial Hall) with one of my…
  • MORTAR is closing out 2022 with its second City-Wide Pitch Competition, "P!+CH, Please!" Join us on Saturday, De… https://t.co/r8yOe4d3mY
  • RT @SaycheeseDGTL: 😢 Survivors of the 1921 massacre in Tulsa filed a lawsuit asking the city to pay reparations. The city tried to dismiss…
  • Help send our 'Warriors to Wakanda' https://t.co/c2ffK8W7va
  • RT @AFewHungryGirls: You can’t keep sleeping on yourself and expect to live your dreams.
  • People make the world go 'round. We're hiring!! As we grow, so is our need for talented team members. Hit the li… https://t.co/xyPeCUu5za