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Rebuilding Black Wall Street in Asheville, North Carolina

Source: WLOS

During Memorial Day weekend of 2024, the city of Asheville hosted GRINDFest for the fourth year in a row. 

GRINDFest is an annual free three-day festival that is dedicated to celebrating Black business and entrepreneurship in Asheville, North Carolina. 

Since 2021, this festival has grown exponentially. Visitors come far and wide to participate in this event. 

Co-founder of GRINDFest, Bruce Waller, shared with ABC 13 that the goal of the annual festival is to pave the way for the next generations of local leaders, following the history of the Tulsa Oklahoma massacre

Black Wall Street AVL and Grind AVL are two Black owned businesses that are primary sponsors for GRINDFest. These two businesses are doing what they can to expand and grow Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) businesses in Asheville and beyond.

When Grind AVL opened in 2020, it became Asheville’s first Black-owned coffee shop.

Grind is not just a coffee shop, but also a co-working space in the city. Its mission is to use coffee as a unifier to start, grow, and support businesses, owners, and networks to build up Black Wall Street in the city.

During the opening of Grind AVL, co-founder J. Hackett told Citizen Times, “entrepreneurship is one of the quickest ways a marginalized person can build wealth. Instead of working a 9-5, they can take their own ideas and build a product they can sell, and that’s how it’s been done for years.”

At Grind, entrepreneurs can find tools to grow their business like how to search and write grants. Also, if you are looking for a space to host your next small business event in Asheville, Grind AVL has you covered. Feel free to visit their website for more information.

Black Wall Street AVL was born out of Grind AVL’s bi-monthly Black Wall Street pop-ups. The organization’s mission is to help BIPOCs turn their ideas into reality and build a supportive community for local Black and marginalized entrepreneurs. 

Black Wall Street AVL is working to revitalize the bustling Black economic center in Asheville that was destroyed due to urban renewal. 

Black Wall Street carries out their mission by utilizing a cohort model for new entrepreneurs of color. By being a part of this cohort, new entrepreneurs have accountability, camaraderie, and have a place to discuss the barriers they face as new business owners, and opportunities to learn from one another.

If you want to be a member of their cohort, click here for more information. Or if you just want to support the mission of Black Wall Street AVL, become a partner. Click here to learn more.
And if you are interested in attending GRINDFest in 2025. Make sure you pay close attention to their website,  www.grindfestavl.com/home. This is an event you don’t want to miss!

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