The economics of the neighborhood immediately makes it difficult for neighborhood residents to take on any entrepreneurial endeavors. Neighborhood residents expressed difficulty in finding accessible employment opportunities in order to provide the financial stability to start a business within the neighborhood. Although many residents indicated there was an abundance of inexpensive property that was in disrepair, access to low-cost space for retail and restaurant businesses was difficult to find, as was financing to renovate those properties in disrepair.
Also mentioned was the need for educational resources, including small business startup training, job training for entry-level employment, and financial literacy education. Lack of education on entrepreneurship, coupled with the lack of financial resources indicated above, makes it nearly impossible for residents of the North End to start-up their own businesses. Potential solutions to this issue might lie in the second-most referenced answer in the question regarding entrepreneurship: networking.
“What do we need to do to encourage more entrepreneurs in the North Limestone neighborhood?”
Many of the resources that residents indicated a need for already exist in Lexington, and many of them are located in the North End itself. The non-profit organization Community Ventures offers entrepreneurial training as well as access to capital for first-time business owners. Jubilee Jobs, another non-profit in the North End, provides entry-level employment connections - and specifically focuses on recently-incarcerated. Many of the residents indicated that better methods of distributing this information would make it easier to consider entrepreneurship; and in particular, many referenced that much of the materials and programs that provide educational and financial assistance are only in the English language, leaving out many Spanish-speakers and other Non-English speakers.