ELDI Initiatives

programs designed to help achieve and maintain a vibrant, mixed-income community in East Liberty.


Circles Greater Pittsburgh

Circles Greater Pittsburgh is a non-profit organization working to end generational poverty in Pittsburgh by helping people gain access to resources and support through cross-socioeconomic relationships. Circles Greater Pittsburgh currently has three operating sites: Circles East Liberty, sponsored by Open Hand Ministries, Circles Homewood, sponsored by Homewood Children’s Village, and Circles Sharpsburg, sponsored by Roots of Faith.

Learn more about Circles.


Catapult: Startup to Storefront

Catapult is an initiative designed to help local, minority businesses thrive and prosper in East Liberty and the East End. This twelve-month business incubator program provides participants with support and technical assistance ranging from setting up legal structures and understanding finances to networking, peer support, and one-on-one mentoring.

The program is a partnership between ELDI, Circles Greater Pittsburgh, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Larimer Consensus Group, and Paramount Co-Op. Paramount Co-Op is an incubator program and co-working space based out of Ambridge, PA that is developing content and helping coordinate the program.

15 businesses were selected for the first cohort, which launched in April 2018. The second cohort began September 9, 2019, and is also made up of 15 businesses.

Selection criteria for participating businesses:

Businesses must live or do business in the East End/Larimer community, have a business or business idea that aligns with the East Liberty and/or Larimer Community Business District plans, and be willing to work hard and succeed.

The overarching goal:

To help local business owners get what they need to maintain or build successful, sustainable businesses in the East End, and also to provide a wealth-building opportunity that benefits the community as a whole.

Businesses in the second cohort

  • I.T’s 4 Me: Taylor Ford and Ginay Clarke — information technology systems
  • Zuri Beads: Kecia Chantel — jewelry design and creation
  • Gentleman Brand: Thomas Gentry — leather crafting
  • Minnie and Me, LLC.: Miquel Moon — personalized design
  • Flowers Designs: Kerry Flowers — wedding stationary and design
  • Clean and Classy Candle Co.: Ravin Scott — artisan candle making
  • Happysac412: Fredericka Greenwood — medical marijuana accessories
  • The Covering: Ameela Boyd — clothing designer
  • RoyallyFit LLC: Aquene Watkins Wise — fitness apparel and lifestyle products
  • Soil Sisters Plant Nursery: Raynise Kelley — urban gardening and education
  • It’s Amore by Amari: Amari Green — women’s apparel
  • Merle’s Party Planning: Jarmele Fairclaugh — specialty party favors and gifts

Businesses in the first cohort

Early Stage Businesses
(Companies who are recent start-ups or in the concept phase.):
  • Steel City Gumbo – Dominic Odom
  • Prater and Sons Contracting – Richard Prater
  • Larimer Free Store/Consignment Concept – Aurelia Carter
  • Mobile Team Room/Tea Shop Concept – Deborah Batten-Reid
Emerging Businesses
(Operational companies generating income, or the owner has entrepreneurial experience or expertise.):
  • Natural Beauty Supply Store – Lasheisha Holiday
  • Kin of Duncan Youth Apparel – Jasmine Duncan
  • Hill Mechanical – Keith Hill
  • NQ Bike Ride – Laura Thomas
  • 360 Café – Tyleda Worou
  • IMIHI Designs – Alexis Cathie
Established Anchor Businesses
(High-growth potential firms with well-established brands, or brick and mortar presence in the East End. Each is interested in operating in Larimer or expanding in the East End.):
  • CobblerWorld – Terina Hicks
  • Cultural Oasis – Dana Harris-Yates
  • The Brown Insurance Agency – Ronald Brown
  • The Professional Barber Institute – Nena and Wahad Ansari
  • TLC Libations – Erick and Diane Turner

Get involved + Contact

Catapult is always looking for partners, mentors, and workspace. If you’d like to get involved or learn more, reach out to Tammy Thompson at tammy.thompson@eastliberty.org.

Learn more about Catapult.


Gallery on Penn

An extension of the Catapult program, Gallery on Penn is a retail incubator space for minority and women-owned businesses at 5935 Penn Avenue in East Liberty.  With the support of ELDI, several Catapult businesses operate out of the space at a very low cost, allowing them to test and market their ideas without the burden of expensive overhead.

“With the development of a physical Catapult: Start-up to Storefront space, we’re really excited to be able to offer this new opportunity to allow our companies to incubate their retail businesses on one of the busiest streets in the city,” said Tammy Thompson, executive director of Circles Greater Pittsburgh and manager of the Catapult program.

Gallery on Penn Hours:

Monday-Friday: 10 am-8 pm

Saturday: 10 am-6 pm

Sunday: Closed

Learn more about Gallery on Penn.

> Due to COVID-19, the Gallery on Penn storefront is temporarily closed. In the meantime, please shop the Virtual Gallery on Penn. <