Entrepreneurship is rarely easy, and the challenges multiply for micro-business ventures that often don’t have access to traditional capital or a storefront where they can offer their goods and services.
That’s why ECONA has always been supportive of those organizations that offer unique opportunities for economic development in our region. One of the most exciting is the Market of Dreams in Sunnyside.
The Market of Dreams, located at 2532 E. 7th Avenue is a micro-entrepreneurship center and community supported marketplace operated seven days a week by the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association (SNA) of Flagstaff.
SNA started the Market of Dreams in early 2015 as a way to combat poverty in the neighborhood by empowering residents to create their own small businesses. It also offers residents the ability to gain job skills while encouraging entrepreneurship, business management and grassroots leadership.
Since its opening, more than 50 individuals have used the shared retail space, and four members have gone on to open their own small businesses outside of the market. The Market now also has a food incubator and a fully licensed food cart it operates in the downtown area and at special events in the region.
More than 150 individuals have contacted the Market of Dreams for information about starting their own businesses and the market’s services have grown to include a community radio station run by volunteers, community-building workshops, and free classes on everything from writing a resume to conversational Spanish.
ECONA applauds the SNA and its community-based effort to foster both entrepreneurship and community pride in the Sunnyside area.