Mayor Fischer celebrates opening of The Well, a city-funded incubator to support Black and minority-owned businesses

November 03, 2022

Mayor Greg Fischer joined SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm Inc. owner Kena Samuels Stith today to cut the ribbon on The Well, a city-funded incubator and coworking space created to provide support for Black and minority entrepreneurs in the city.

“We know that like cities across the nation, the number of Black-owned businesses in Louisville is not proportionate to our population, and that is because of a lack of access to opportunity – not talent,” the Mayor said. “By funding the creation of The Well and providing over $14 million for other initiatives aimed at supporting Black businesses and entrepreneurs, Louisville Metro Government is increasing access to opportunities that we know can create generational wealth for Black Louisvillians and help close the racial wealth gap.”

The city chose SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm, a Black-owned, woman-owned comprehensive accounting and consulting services firm, to develop the incubator and coworking space in 2021, following a competitive request for proposals process.

The Well is located at 1702 Dixie Highway in the Algonquin neighborhood. In total, The Well has received $200,000 in city funding to sustain the incubator in the first and second years of operation. “I am excited to celebrate the opening of this great new asset in west Louisville for Black and minority-owned businesses. Great work, Kena!” the Mayor said.

The Well’s first cohort of business owners began received support services, including mentorship and workshops on accounting, marketing and technology implementation, in June 2022. The goal of the incubator is to help businesses grow sustainably.

“As a Black, female business owner, I understand the unique struggles Black and minority entrepreneurs face in building a successful business. The Well is here to give business owners the tools they need to thrive, not just survive. I am proud to open this incubator and coworking space in an area of the city that hasn’t seen something like this before and to build up the small business ecosystem, giving Black business owners access to the same knowledge and opportunities as others through continued partnerships with organizations like AMPED and the Louisville Urban League,” said Samuels Stith.

In addition to its hands-on support and consulting work with early-stage entrepreneurs and growth-stage businesses, The Well offers a coworking space with access to wireless internet, high-quality printers and Chromebooks, software discounts, a private meeting room and a database of small business resources and tools.

“I’m honored The Well chose the Algonquin neighborhood in District 6 for the location of the incubator. I encourage businesses in the community to take advantage of all the supportive services that will be offered here, including a coworking space. I can’t wait to see what new businesses emerge in the neighborhood,” said President David James, D-6.

To support itself over the long-term, The Well, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is selling memberships and sponsorships to local companies. Those interested in supporting The Well can call (502) 632-1117 or email [email protected]. For more information about The Well or find information about applying for the next incubator cohort, visit www.thewelllouisville.com.

Throughout his administration, Mayor Fischer has been committed to helping all Louisvillians reach their full human potential and rectifying decades of disinvestment in the predominately Black neighborhoods of west Louisville.

Since 2014, Louisville has welcomed an historic $1.4 billion in investments in capital projects in west Louisville, including the redevelopment of Beecher Terrace, the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Complex, the Republic Bank Foundation YMCA, and the Goodwill Industries and Norton Healthcare Opportunity Campus.

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