NewBo City Market has launched a new addition to its Hatchery program, The Entrepreneurs Equity Fund.
This addition to the initiative will continue to diversify and foster equitable economic development in the Corridor through rent discounts, entrepreneurial outreach and specialty Guest Vendors Markets that will shine a spotlight on minority-owned small businesses.
In 2021, UFG Insurance has generously sponsored a number of these specialty markets in support of The Entrepreneurs Equity Fund. Including a Black-Owned Business Market in August, Pop Art Market in September, Women-Owned Business Market in November and Latinx-Owned Business Market in December.
“UFG Insurance is proud to sponsor the Entrepreneurs Equity Fund in support of small business owners in Cedar Rapids,” said UFG President and CEO Randy Ramlo. “As an insurer of thousands of small businesses across the country, we understand the many challenges business owners face and are pleased to be able to partner with NewBo City Market in this promising new endeavor. Personally speaking, I have always admired the strong and diverse entrepreneurial spirit that exists within our city, dating back to 1946 when UFG first opened its doors in a two-story house on First Avenue. Seventy-five years later, we are excited for this opportunity to help others get their business off the ground at NewBo City Market.”
Thanks to UFG, this expansion of the Hatchery was made possible and guest vendors from all walks of life will now have access to NewBo City Market’s resources and platform.
Continuing in 2022, NewBo City Market plans to provide discounted and free rental fees to guest vendors that represent historically underserved audiences and student entrepreneurs, working with local high school students, specifically to help teachers and students develop business plans, create products, and prepare for the end of the semester market which will all be tied directly into their classroom curriculum.
Students will also be encouraged to participate in any of the other applicable themed markets throughout the year and will always receive a free daily booth rental. Mentorship will also include visits from diverse NewBo City Market shopkeepers so that students may connect with business owners who they identify with.
The Entrepreneurs Equity Fund is yet another way that NewBo City Market is continuing its efforts as a nonprofit small business incubator, lowering barriers to entry for local entrepreneurs with varying backgrounds and experiences.