Creating Welcoming and Equitable Retail Opportunities.

Louisville has a long, rich history of Black-owned business. The Walnut Street business district (now Muhammad Ali Boulevard) once was a vibrant and thriving business, social and cultural gathering place for Black Louisvillians. The area was a vital economic engine for the Black community during racial segregation from the 1920s to 1950s, until it was demolished during the period of urban renewal.

Structural and systemic racism has created barriers for Black-owned businesses ever since. Current statistics reveal that 23.4% of the Louisville Metro population is Black, yet only 2.4% of its businesses are Black-owned. The lack of Black-owned businesses in downtown has prevented the area from being viewed as representing the diverse needs and desires of the entire community.

The MELANnaire Marketplace

The MELANnaire Marketplace, a Black- and woman-owned business, will support the growth and prosperity of Black merchants with a mission to jumpstart economic value creation for small Black-owned merchants who: 1) lack access to capital/funding to open their own brick-and-mortar shops, 2) need access to funds to support business operations and overhead costs, and 3) need mentorship and training in business ownership. The goal for the MELANnaire Marketplace is to  create a long-term strategy for financial profit and stability – while providing quality downtown retail opportunities that are welcoming to all.

Listen to Nachand Trabue, CEO of MELANnaire Marketplace share her story. 

The MELANnaire Marketplace Team

Julie Benton, &well
Fr. Matthew Bradley, Christ Church Cathedral
Chris Coffman, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Prenashee Collins, TBAIN&Co.
LaVeda M. Gipson, PharmD,
Aetna Better Health of Kentucky
Emily Liu, Louisville Metro Government
Ben Simmons, Schmidt Associates

Nachand Trabue, Bates Community Development Corporation
Sherri L. Wallace, Ph.D., University of Louisville
Chris Ward, DMLO CPAs
Kathy Washington, Simmons College of Kentucky
Johanna Wheatley, Republic Bank | Republic Bank & Trust Company

Interested in learning more?

This team, along with the rest of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2022 will be presenting on their projects as a session at the LeadingBetter Summit held March 9, 2023 at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts from 4 – 5:00 p.m. Register for this full day of learning or just for this session!

Register for the Full LeadingBetter Summit    Register for the Bingham Fellows Presentation Only

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