The Journal Gazette
Saturday, October 16, 2021 1:00 am

Night market planned for Fairfield Corridor

Effort unveiled as part of strategy to assist startups

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Start Fort Wayne will join with Wunderkammer Company and several locally owned businesses to host a night market Oct. 22 along Fairfield Avenue as it unveils a strategy to encourage entrepreneurs.

The nonprofit plans to launch the Greater Fort Wayne Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Strategy, designed as a 10-year plan to support business startups, according to a news release Friday.

It comes after Start Fort Wayne offered an online survey this spring for Allen County businesses to collect data and other information, including perceived access to entrepreneurial resources.

“We had 622 entrepreneurs respond who represent 705 businesses – serial entrepreneurs (who) own multiple businesses. Is that cool?” Start Fort Wayne executive Dan Swartz said through an email response.

When the survey was announced in late May, Swartz said developing a strategy is key to ensuring long-term growth for the regional economy.

The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and the Don Wood Foundation each provided $25,000 matching grants to help get the initiative started.

“Entrepreneurship is a key indicator of a community's economic health, and even more important in a post-COVID-19 world where industry and economic disruption has increased,” the news release said. “Fort Wayne has a strong entrepreneurial tradition, and currently robust economic performance. However, we need a more coordinated and concerted effort to support our locally owned businesses, if we are going to properly invest in the future of our community.”

Details about the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Strategy are expected to be released next week. A news conference is scheduled at 4 p.m. Oct. 22 at Wunderkammer Company, 3402 Fairfield Ave., followed by an hour of networking along the Fairfield Urban Corridor.

The night market is scheduled for 5:30 to 9 p.m. with a musical performance by JayDid, or Jackie Dixie, described in the news release as an emerging local musician.

Parking off Kinsmoor Avenue can be found behind the Wunderkammer building and also throughout adjacent neighborhoods.

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