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ARCHWOOD COMMUNITY RESOURCE EMPOWERMENT STRATEGY (ACRES)
Who We Are
Archwood Exchange was established in 2016 by a group of entrepreneurs and organizers with a goal of increasing the presence and vitality of Black-Owned businesses in Arizona. In May of 2017 we started hosting monthly community gatherings known as “The Buy Black Marketplace”. Through our monthly marketplaces, educational opportunities and growing network, Archwood Exchange has been able to support the growth and development of over 200 black owned businesses in the Phoenix Metro Service Area. Since launching Archwood Exchange, our team has used the resources and relationships that we share with the community to build our own successful ventures. Our team members are the visionaries behind the following businesses: Grassrootz Bookstore, Stardust & Sage, Brownstone Spa and Straw & Wool Hat Store.
Since May of 2017, we have held a continuous monthly marketplace in downtown Phoenix where small, underserved businesses can showcase their products and services to the community. Over 200 businesses have visited the marketplace, many becoming household names throughout the Valley. We also serve as a resource hub for the businesses in our community, sharing funding and educational opportunities. We partner with various youth organizations and local non-profits to share and support their work increasing visibility and funding through the marketplace. We have also hosted a number of classes and events, including business pitch contests and an 8 week training course, aimed at equipping the business community with resources and education needed to grow and scale their ventures. We see a need to provide increased support and resources to the underserved businesses and organizations in our community and have created a nonprofit organization, Archwood Community Resource Empowerment Strategy (ACRES), to provide this support.
While we will continue to run our marketplace every month, we will also be introducing various incubator programs and services to meet the needs of the businesses in the community. Currently, we are working to expand our business support program in such a way that it will provide more direct supportive services to businesses in the following key areas:
- Readiness to obtain capital
- Financial coaching
- Marketing support
- Business planning and strategy
- Crowdfunding assistance
We will accomplish this by offering a series of classes and workshops on various topics. We will also offer 1-on-1 business coaching and mentoring to entrepreneurs in need of additional support. Based on an informal survey of the businesses we serve, we recognize the need to provide support in these areas. We will utilize our current membership base and also extend our reach to other existing black-owned businesses in need of support.