History & the Future of Black Entrepreneurism

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The Sweet Potato Project was a program offered by the North Area Community Development Corporation (NACDC), a 501 (c-3) organization. In the summer of 2012, NACDC introduced the Sweet Potato Project. Journalist and community activist, Sylvester Brown, Jr. was the visionary behind the project that was founded to address two significant needs: (1) young men and women in North St. Louis need an opportunity to earn money and gain job training through dignified work; and (2) many neighborhoods in North St. Louis need to become a more safe, economically reliant and self-sustainable.

The Sweet Potato Project offered solutions to these two needs.

The project was designed to promote urban farming, basic business skills, healthy behaviors, and healthy choices among youth in low-income communities. This food-based collaborative is designed to teach youth that there are indeed healthy, productive and legal ways to generate income in their own communities.

Inspire, motivate and train youth was one part of the Sweet Potato Project. The idea was to nurture young men and women in North St. Louis to become pioneers of a massive urban agriculture-based development effort in our region. This movement has the potential to increase economic activity and transform disadvantaged neighborhoods into communities with stability, jobs and small businesses.

Although the project has been put on temporary hold. We believe it and this website serves as a viable template for sustainable, long overdue economic and social change in urban areas. Land-ownership, urban entrepreneurism and wealth-generation, we maintain, is the next and most important phase of the civil rights movement.