Recent News

February 21, 2018

Building Communities Through Entrepreneurship

United Way of Greater Cincinnati announced in December that 80 percent of investments would now be directed toward moving children and families out of poverty. Part of that effort will include investing in innovative strategies, such as the MORTAR Entrepreneurship Academy. MORTAR is also one of eight new United Way partners that is black-owned and operated. This is part of United Way’s intentional decisions to be inclusive and create more space for equity in our community. 


MORTAR’s mission is clear: “Building Communities Through Entrepreneurship.” It’s where many people turn to learn how to become successful entrepreneurs and small business owners. With MORTAR’s help, people often find their own opportunity thrive.

The organization started laying the foundation of its work in Over the Rhine, and then expanded into Walnut Hills, hoping to build on the successes of those revitalization efforts while focusing on those who are often ignored. MORTAR has graduated more than 150 students, and offers a robust alumni network to help cultivate relationships and potential partnerships. 

We sat down recently with Allen Woods, co-founder and creative director for MORTAR (see video above), about what this partnership with United Way means and how it will benefit the community at-large.  

Allen is also featured in a national US Bank campaign highlighting Black History Month Possibility Makers. 

We are proud to have MORTAR and our other black-led organizations on board with us in this work!

Watch the U.S. Bank commercial featuring MORTAR: