Tuesday, June 28th, 2022

Entrepreneurs Receive Support From Nonprofit

Women Of Color Entrepreneurs Receive Support From Nonprofit In HoCo
The 3rd, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting women of color entrepreneurs, will officially open at its new location in Howard County.

eative space will be made available to both members of The 3rd and the public.
The creative space will be made available to both members of The 3rd and the public. (Photo courtesy of Laura Bacon)
HOWARD COUNTY, MD — A former restaurant situated along the Columbia waterfront has been undergoing a makeover to become a space dedicated to building up women of color entrepreneurs. that hopes to open up officially in June.

The facility offers 8,000 square feet of space that will be converted into a cafe, conference rooms, podcast rooms, offices and includes a stage for events. The creative space will be made available to both members of The 3rd and the public.

Laura Bacon, founder of the non-profit The 3rd, dedicates herself to providing resources and support to women of color business owners. She launched the group in July of 2019 after deciding to change career paths.

“I was in my 14th year of teaching for HCPSS and I wanted more autonomy over how I used my heart for service. As I was dipping my toe into entrepreneurial things, I was facing challenges and barriers and figured I couldn’t be alone. After doing some market research and learning that other WOC entrepreneurs were seeing the same thing, I started The 3rd as a way to support them and as a way to bring this amazing Howard County community together to amplify these women and their businesses,” Bacon told Patch.

Up until now, The 3rd has been operating primarily online, offering support and facilitating a sense of community throughout the pandemic quarantine. With a little more than 100 members, The 3rd is more than ready to move into a physical space.

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“I was born and raised in Columbia and I’ve benefited from James Rouse’s vision. I want to do the work to keep it alive and provide a high profile and beautiful location to really communicate the value and importance of WOC entrepreneurs in our community,” Bacon said.

The 3rd’s ultimate mission is to build online-offline spaces that foster dreams, create community and provide mentorship, Bacon explained, which then enables women of color to turn their ideas into economic power and freedom.

“We do this in 3 ways – through our membership providing support to WOC entrepreneurs around the top three statistical challenges they face: networking, capacity building and business support. Also through our physical space, which is designed to bring the entire community in to amplify WOC-owned businesses. And through our community connections where we link with companies and organizations to bring resources to members, amplify them and their businesses or promote advocacy around WOC entrepreneur causes,” Bacon said.

The space itself is a one-of-a-kind community coworking space that aims to bring together live/work aspects in an environment that is accessible and where everyone is seen and valued, Bacon added.

The space will include:

– A storefront for a member, Apple Core Bakes
– Coffee, tea, in-house made pastries
– A menu of soup, salads and sandwiches (Chef Jamila says “it’s comfort food no matter where you’re from.”)
– Free seating cafe
– Small stage for live music, community events, etc.
– 6 private offices for rent
– 2 large conference rooms for rent
– Podcasting studio
– Commercial kitchen for rent

“We’re also in the middle of a GoFundMe campaign to get our doors open. We’ve gotten this far, but need a little help to get over the finish line. Head to this link to contribute,” Bacon said.

To learn more about The 3rd, which is located at 10215 Wincopin Circle, sign up for the nonprofit’s newsletter at the3rd.

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