Local nonprofit launches pop-up to promote small businesses and fund HBCU scholarships

Natasha Ashby | 7/30/2015, 11:11 a.m.
This Saturday, Aug. 1, a local community service organization is launching a pop-up shop to promote minority- and women-owned businesses, ...
2013 Ivy Lane Harlem's Pop-Up Shop Ivy Lane Harlem Pop-Up

This Saturday, Aug. 1, a local community service organization is launching a pop-up shop to promote minority- and women-owned businesses, as well as fund scholarships to HBCUs in Harlem at ImageNation Raw Space.

New York entrepreneurs will showcase their products at the third annual Ivy Lane Harlem Pop-Up Shop 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 2031 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. The pop-up shop is apart of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s economic security initiative. Brenda L. Jones, the event chair of Ivy Lane Harlem Pop-Up Shop, said the purpose of the event is “to help with the wealth building in Harlem and to let others know if they have ideas or if they’re thinking about starting a business that they can. There are others out there doing it. It’s important to know the path has been laid for you and we are here to help you.”

The event is also a fundraiser for the THINK HBCU Scholarship Fund. All proceeds collected from the tickets sold go to the fund.

“We help students who attend an HBCU in their junior or senior year to stay in school if they have a lack of finances,” Jones explained.

This event is more than just a shopping event. It is a chance to get to know community business owners better. People can expect food, drinks and a great atmosphere.

It will offer “an opportunity to engage with local business owners, and if [attendees] are current entrepreneurs, they can ask them questions,” said Erica Hicks, Event Publicist and Committee Member.

This year is the third for the pop-up shop, and Jones said they have been successful over the past few years, considering the event started as a calendar.

“We have return vendors who have done quite well over the years,” she said. “We have vendors coming from Philadelphia now. It’s quite successful. We started with a calendar and now we’re here.”

The goal is to assist small minority- and women owned businesses MWBEs increase their sales by helping them gain more visibility within the community.

“We created the Ivy Lane Harlem Pop-Up Shop to reach out to the community and look for business owners to become vendors,” Jones said. “At the time it was kind of new and people came out to support women and minority business owners that were there. It was a way to support Harlem Week and Black Business Month and bring back our economic dollars to our community.”

Current and past vendors include: Sheryl Jones Inc., Tracy Chambers Vintage, A long legacy Jewelry, Johanna Howard Home & Accessories, Zoetic Couture, Nana's Homemade Poundcakes, and more.

Jones said that local vendors can participate by purchasing a table for $125 and will receive all profits earned Aug. 1. The organization is also accepting donations for raffles, door prizes and a silent auction. She added all proceeds from vendors will benefit the Think HBCU Scholarship Fund. For those who donate an item, the organization will recognize the company in the event program and via social media.

It is open to the public and the cost is $15 and tickets can be bought at this link. All funds go to the THINK HBCU scholarship fund.

For more information, please contact Erica Hicks at ehicks@prvein.com.