Center @ Sixth helps Black-owned businesses start on the farmer’s market

Marquas Ashworth doesn’t plan to break ground on the Center @ Sixth project until spring, but is already shipping two businesses through its incubation program.

When completed, the building at 1714 Sixth Ave. will house a nonprofit that helps Black and brown entrepreneurs start their businesses with the help of space professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and planners.

He’s working with Nadia La Baker and Jambo African Cuisine to help test the concept, and is helping both set up a booth at Des Moines’ Downtown Farmers’ Market. Ashworth said the concept works, and both owners regularly sell their products every Saturday.

More:Rapper and entrepreneur Marquas Ashworth works to build Black-owned businesses: ‘We can unite ourselves’

“It was so cool to watch this work,” he said. “It’s more fun than making money, making music, making whiskey.” Beyond developing Center @ Sixth, Ashworth is a hip-hop artist, producer and founder of Media Fresh Records, and creator of Ziyad Rye small batch whiskey.

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