A new retail incubator for minority-owned businesses on Penn Avenue

The small business incubator program, Catapult: Start-up to Storefront, is proud to announce their plans for Gallery on Penn, a pop-up store for minority and women-owned businesses to test and market their ideas in East Liberty at 5935 Penn Avenue. The store’s grand opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled for 10 am to 8 pm on November 2nd.

Catapult was launched earlier this year as a way to help local and minority-owned businesses benefit from East Liberty’s revitalization. The project is a joint-initiative of Circles Greater Pittsburgh, East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI), the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Larimer Consensus Group and Paramount Co-Op. Neighborhood Allies also serves as a generous sponsor and financial contributor for the project.

A storefront is a natural next phase for the initiative.

“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.

With the support of ELDI, Catapult will be able to rent the Penn Avenue location at a very reduced rate for the next 12 months. Circles Greater Pittsburgh will be fundraising to cover the costs.

The businesses and entrepreneurs participating in the new space are:

  • CobblerWorld – Terina Hicks
  • Naptural Beauty Supply, LLC. – LaShesia Holliday
  • 360 Cafe LLC – Tyleda Worou
  • IMIHI Designs – Alexis Cathie
  • Kin of Duncan Apparel – Jasmine Duncan
  • TLC Libations – Diane and Erika Turner

As the companies test their products and the market in the new Penn Avenue location, they won’t have the stress of expensive overhead and will continue to have access to mentorship and continued education and support. The end goal is to prepare the businesses for potential opportunities in future spaces in the East End.

Thompson: “Thanks to partners who understand that it’s going to take creativity, collaboration and some amount of risk to provide true equity, diversity and inclusion in wealth building opportunities, we’ve been able to do something pretty special here.”

For questions or more info, contact Elizabeth Sensky at elizabeth.sensky@eastliberty.org.