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Anna Golladay believes churches can revitalize neighborhood economies by gifting underused space to minority entrepreneurs.

Anna has worn many (metaphorical) hats. Her background includes marketing and nonprofit management, but she says she is an entrepreneur at heart. As a preacher at St. Mark’s in Chattanooga, she saw the need for urban churches to step up and give their neighborhood economy a boost. She enrolled in Causeway’s CO.STARTERS for Causes program as a way to force her to focus, to gain accountability to bring her idea to fruition, and to enter a community of likeminded problem-solvers.


WORK OF PLACE

The inspiration for Anna's project, Work of Place, was sparked by this statistic from Pew Research Center: the median net worth for a white household is $114,000, for a Hispanic household is $14,000, and for an African American household is $11,000.

Anna wants to create a unique avenue to help minority entrepreneurs get started in their own neighborhoods. Work of Place is an initiative to connect minority entrepreneurs to church resources, starting with the often empty space in church buildings throughout the week. Churches have three things that blossoming entrepreneurs need: space, connections, and finances. What would it look like for a church to donate space, a couple nights a week, for someone to sew for their Etsy shop? Or donate kitchen space for an entrepreneur to start a local bakery? Or let someone use their parking lot to start their car detailing business?

She’s received mostly positive feedback about her project, and is working to help connect churches themselves to the idea. Churches see the need and the "how", but the “why” is her biggest hurdle. One advantage to churches assuming the role of an entrepreneurial support system is simply the location. While the Innovation District is full of great resources for emerging entrepreneurs in Chattanooga, affordable and practical transportation can be an issue. Neighborhood churches filling in gaps to cultivate local creativity makes sense.
 

Whats Next?

Anna is building her network of churches in Chattanooga, increasing her social media presence and scheduling lots of speaking gigs to spread the word. Long term, she will work toward creating strategic partnerships, whether that’s a missions organization or a specific denomination that wants to jump behind this project.

 

Co.Starters is a nine-week program that helps individuals put ideas into action, turning a passion for bettering the community into a sustainable and thriving endeavor.

Anna refined and strengthened her idea by joining our CO.STARTERS for Causes class in the Fall of 2016. Her project, Work of Place, encourages churches to give minority entrepreneurs a hand by letting them borrow the church's underused space throughout the week.