& SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT
Wilmington Alliance collaborates with multiple partners to support entrepreneurs in the city of Wilmington. We work to reduce barriers many marginalized small business owners face on their path to success. In August 2020, Wilmington joined the National League of Cities’ City Inclusive Entrepreneurship Network (NLC CIE). In 2021, Mayor Purzycki accepted the challenge offered by the NLC CIE to create policies, programs, and practices to ensure that our community can thrive in the global, innovation-driven economy. Wilmington Alliance has been the lead agency responsible for working with the city administration and other partners to execute on the work related to the implementation of 13 milestones tasked by the NLC.
We partner with Riverfront Ministries on the Kitchen Collective, Wilmington’s first commissary kitchen. Due to high demand from culinary entrepreneurs in the city, we are planning to open a second kitchen in 2022 and are developing plans for a third in 2023.
We partner with Cornerstone West on the Wilmington Strong Fund by offering microgrants to qualifying small businesses and the WilmingtonMADE shop local initiative which features an online local business directory and new marketing support for selected entrepreneurs. These programs were created to offer crucial support during the pandemic and have continued as we assessed the continuing need from the small business community, aimed at supporting their ability to grow, scale and retain their operations.
Wilmington Alliance and Cornerstone West CDC have also joined forces to launch Kiva Delaware to address the issues that many small business owners face in accessing capital. Kiva harnesses its crowdfunding platform to provide zero percent interest capital to small business owners and entrepreneurs in need.
In partnership with the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation, we provide support to Wilmington-based Black/Brown entrepreneurs through Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Wilmington (E3 Wilmington).
For more information on these initiatives and to visit the program websites,
please visit the links below or on the drop down menu