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Building Ensley Together
We believe in Investing in Economic Development that will Support Community Development
If you believe your contact, company or foundation would match funds or they have grant programs to build up African American small businesses in underserved communities like Ensley, please share this project with them.
"Build Up Birmingham", a local non profit (501c3) has launched a fundraising campaign to help move this block forward with your contributions. Your contribution will help all of us lower the final overhead expenses so more of the profits from office leases can be reinvested back into the community through Entrepreneurship, Workforce, and Mentoring programs that will take place throughout the same buildings.
We have 8 Historic Commercial Buildings totaling 33,000+sf to restore. We are looking for private investments, public, corporate, and foundation investments to move this block forward. The smallest complete renovation is $125,000. Our Dream of Dream Construction Fundraising Goal would be $4,950,000 which is based on $150 per sf x 33,000sf = $4,950,000. To reach $950,000, we can restore the main level of 5 buildings.
Your contribution will help develop spaces for over 50 local entrepreneurs and small businesses in the underserved community of Ensley.
"Innovation Ensley" Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Space: Phase 1 will consist of creation of multiple individual offices and shared co-working spaces for local professionals with multiple meeting rooms. In addition to local professionals utilizing these spaces, specialized regular workshops will be held around entrepreneurship and business development for tenants. With profits from leases, mentoring programs and workshops will be created for area youth and adults.
"Invest Ensley" We will dedicate at least 1 space for stock, mutual funds, day trading investment professionals to lease. We will use lease profits and facility features to support investment workshops for area professionals and youth of the community. It is critical that we expose our community to new possibilities.
"Chef Up Ensley" We will convert at least 2 units / buildings for area restaurants and startup chefs.
"Believe in Ensley Urban Studios" for Creative Entrepreneurs: We will create a space to support over 30 creative entrepreneurs in Videography, Film, Photography, Graphic Design, Podcasting, Marketing, Script Writing, Music Recording and Lessons. Profits from leases help support regular workforce development activities across each supporting industry. Area owners and merchants will have access to this needed marketing arm.
"Innovation Ensley Construction Office Hub and Tradesmen Training Center": Creation of industry specific offices and shared coworking spaces to help build up a place for area contractors to shared needed administrative, facility, storage, and training spaces. In Birmingham especially in the Ensley community, there is very strong need to build up both area tradesmen, general contractors and specialized contractors. With your support we can tackle entrepreneurship development, workforce development, soft skill development, and needed community development with the restoration of these buildings and the launching of this facility.
"Ensley Art Residencies, Studio, and Gallery": Once we meet the fundraising goal for this space, we can reduce the monthly rate to an affordable rate for area artist and creative spirits. We will convert 1900 - 1930 era apartments to residences for area artists and creative entrepreneurs. With your support, we can invest in our local artists by creating living spaces, development spaces, workshop spaces, and exhibit spaces that make it easier for our artists to become more global with their work.
With Historic Commercial Buildings the cost for rehab is always higher than we would like but that is why they are historic. The smallest complete renovation is $125,000. Our Dream of Dream Construction Fundraising Goal would be $4,950,000 which is based on $150 per sf x 33,000sf = $4,950,000. The closer we get to the target fundraising goal, the more profits we can reinvest back into Entrepreneurship Development, Workforce Development, and Community Development that will take place across the buildings. Your investment regardless of size allows us to start renovating 1 building at a time.
Community Benefits to reaching the target fundraising goal:
o Leases for startup entrepreneurs will be lower which is critical in the startup phase in any community an especially in an underserved community.
o We will offer top of the line facility spaces for local entrepreneurs who otherwise would not have access so they can compete in our global economy
o We can invest more profits from leases to our Entrepreneurship Workshops, Workforce Development Workshops, and Community Mentoring Programs on the block
The closer we get to the target fundraising goal, the more profits we can reinvest back into Entrepreneurship Development, Workforce Development, and Community Development.
For more information about our 501c3 sponsor, please visit
For more information about Brian K. Rice, please visit
If your company is interested in supporting and they have a different process outside of GoFundMe to give through, please have them reach out to Brian K. Rice at www.briankrice.com.
Thank You "Build Up Birmingham" (a 501c3) for creating a fundraising cause for "BUILDING ENSLEY TOGETHER" to support the restoration of 8 Historic Commercial Buildings that will support entrepreneurship development, workforce development, and community development in Downtown Ensley.
Brian K. Rice