Dayton Gets Real: UD-led partnership to support underrepresented businesses set to open today

DAYTON — After delays caused by the pandemic in 2020, a University of Dayton-led partnership aimed at helping minority-owned and underrepresented businesses will hold its grand opening today.

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In March 2020, the Greater West Dayton Incubator had a soft opening at its location on West Third Street in the Wright-Dunbar Historic District. But following COVID delays, the center will officially open Tuesday.

The center offers working space, consulting, training, capital, and other resources with the focus on the greater West Dayton neighborhood. Additionally, the center will offer expertise for tech-based companies as well as financial education from banks.

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“The Greater West Dayton Incubator is really a place where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to grow their businesses. So our goal is to help entrepreneurs with funding, with space and ultimately receive advice to help grow their businesses. Whether they’re an aspiring entrepreneur or someone who’s been in the business for several years,” Whitney Barkley, Director of the Greater West Dayton Incubator told News Center 7′s John Bedell.

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Barkley said the incubator is designed to help bring support for Black and women-owned businesses as well as for other underrepresented businesses

“It’s that name for a particular reason. Typically, underrepresented entrepreneurs have been in the greater West Dayton area. And so we really focus on helping those people grow their business. So these are people who typically haven’t had access to resources traditionally and we want to make sure that they have some of that access,” Barkley said.

While Tuesday will mark the center’s opening, the current physical location is only temporary with UD continuing to look for a permanent home of the GWDI.