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What's Happening

Category: World Market Square

Reimagine Potential

Written by Emma Voigt  • March 20, 2013

When I graduated college a year ago, I was staring down the barrel of an economic recession with bleak unemployment rates. This meant my college degree was not the golden ticket to prosperity high school guidance counselors made it out to be. According to the Pew Research center, more than 8 in 10 people agree finding a job today is harder than it was for their parents’ generation. A while back NPR aired a segment on how adulthood is changing for the millennial generation. I caught an interesting quote from that discussion, “Maybe we’re picking having job satisfaction over job security and deferring earning potential.” According to Hannah Seligson, journalist and author of the book, “Mission Adulthood,” the millennial generation is reimagining the American dream.

Lower earning potential means traditional staples of the American Dream like suburban homes, children, and new cars are no longer attainable. Seligson believes the millennial generation is special because they are diverse, innovative, entrepreneurial and living through “seismic social and political changes.” Yet, entrepreneurship often involves a large economic investment in itself. The number of entrepreneurial dreams that die due to lack of opportunity are incalculable.

Northside UP has imagined a business incubator concept that would offer entrepreneurs steady employment and education to help them realize their dreams of business ownership. In order to help inform the creation of the incubator, I have been meeting with entrepreneurs; so many of them fit Seligson’s definition. Many of them left jobs they were not satisfied with for one reason or another. Rather than accepting the first acceptable pay check, they are investing energy in the fabric of their neighborhoods. They are making connections and lifting one another up. They are not searching for better surroundings; they are simply building them.

With a business incubator, the Northside can become the nexus of reimagined American Dreams. Roughly 24% of the Northside’s population belongs to the millennial generation (American Community Survey 2010). Here, young entrepreneurs merge fresh ideas with the talents and knowledge refugees bring from around the world. Harsh economic conditions may have forced the millennial generation to re-dream, but these emerging adults have gained a new understanding of the importance of building relationships, reducing waste, and making the most of little. Imagine what these new dreams can mean for Syracuse with the right support. Imagine how we can change the city instead of letting it alter us.

 

Last Day to Vote for Syracuse!

Written by admin  • March 6, 2013

Today is the very last day to vote for Syracuse as your Fan Favorite on the The Huffington Post.

We’re currently in 2nd place for viewership and need your support to get to 1st! If you haven’t gotten a chance to do so – go watch the video on World Market Square and vote for our idea.

Watch the video HERE. And vote for it HERE.

See coverage of the idea on News Channel 9.

 

World Market Square

 

World Market Square on Switchboard

Written by admin  • February 27, 2013

The World Market Square idea was recently blogged about by Kaid Benfield on Switchboard, the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Many of America’s older, once-industrial cities are searching for new identities.  Mayor Stephanie Miner of Syracuse, New York, believes that her city can thrive by harnessing the talents and energies of new Americans, showcasing their diversity in a World Market Square in the revitalizing Northside neighborhood.  (Visit the lively website of the Northside Urban Partnership for a glimpse of the upcoming neighborhood.)

…I like it.  The Syracuse concept is an entry in the Mayors Challenge Fan Favorite Selection, a competition sponsored by The Huffington Post and Bloomberg Philanthropies to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life.  Readers can view the ideas and vote for their favorite here.”

We are humbled by the mention!

switchboard_web

 

A Model for the Northside

Written by Emma Voigt  • 

The Northside has a unique asset in its diversity.  Hundreds of refugees resettle on the Northside each year.  These New Americans combine skills, trades, and recipes from their homelands with their new neighbors’ traditions. As a historic point of entry for New Americans, the Northside’s lifelong residents claim heritage from across Europe.  Because of its history of diversity, the neighborhood is beginning to attract young, artistic entrepreneurs of every background imaginable.

Northside UP has been developing ways to help this diverse group cultivate their innate entrepreneurial spirit and change the neighborhood by harnessing the power of business.  By pairing our existing programming with the simple idea of a traditional bazaar, an idea with far reaching added benefits began to grow.  As Northside UP assembled a team of partners to create this shopping experience, we came across the example of the Midtown Global Market (MGM) in Minneapolis, MN.  This space illustrates many of our hopes for the Northside market.

MGM began when community groups and local business owners came together to convince city officials to save a long vacant building in 2003.  The idea was to create a place that could utilize the formerly vacant property to showcase the neighborhood’s ethnic diversity and entrepreneurial energy.  The Neighborhood Development CenterLatin Economic Development Center, and African Development Center worked with other business development partners and advisors to build the vision.  Through these partnerships, MGM was able to launch and offer training, technical assistance, lending, and other support for entrepreneurs.

Today, the market houses many diverse businesses including specialty groceries, prepared food, sit-down restaurants, arts, and crafts.  A shared commercial kitchen, located in the market, enhances the experience.  Professional chefs, caterers, food trucks, and other food manufacturers who need certified space, may use the kitchen for their culinary delights.  Access to high quality shared commercial kitchen space helps new and small businesses succeed by cutting overhead costs.  The kitchen also offers a growing schedule of cooking classes.  Customers can find food prepared in the kitchen along with cookbooks, magazines, kitchen utensils, and chefs’ tools at Kitchen in the Market’s retail store.

Like Syracuse, Minneapolis also resettles a large refugee population each year.  Each wave of new Americans brings refreshing ideas to the area. Northside UP sees the marketplace as an ideal means for infusing the business community with new ideas. By incentivizing incubator graduates to locate in vacant storefronts in bourgeoning neighborhoods, they will catalyze ongoing revitalization efforts.  It is encouraging to see success stories emerge from other like-minded endeavors. The Northside’s diverse residents add vibrancy to this corner of the city each day. Once they have access to the appropriate support, tools, and opportunities, they will help strengthen our city’s economy.

To learn more about Syracuse’s project, check out the video on the Huffington Post and be sure to vote for Syracuse!

http://www.startribune.com/politics/blogs/100374339

Photo Credit: http://www.startribune.com/politics/blogs/100374339

Photo Credit: www.ndc-mn.org

Photo Credit: www.ndc-mn.org

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