Retail Incubator Program

Ecodessa is thrilled to host an innovative incubator program for African American retail entrepreneurs in Downtown Syracuse, NY. 

Utilizing an award from The Central New York Community Foundation’s Black Equity & Excellence Fund, Ecodessa will identify & train entrepreneurs who collaborate with the Downtown Syracuse Foundation to secure a retail location in Downtown Syracuse.

Entrepreneurs will be eligible to receive a grant amount of up to $5,000 to fund expenses associated with their retail business.

To be eligible, prospective applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have Black leadership in the senior executive position of their business
  • Have at least 51% Black membership on their Board or steering committee if applicable
  • Must have secured a retail location in the 13202 zip code for a minimum of at least 3 months
  • Business must be a for profit business registered with New York State with a retail business component
  • Must have a completed business plan submitted as part of the application 
  • Must have an assigned business counselor with a participating CNY small business resource partner

  • Must not be in business associated with the adult stores industry or the sale of illegal goods

How To Apply:

Applications will be received and reviewed on a rolling basis. Questions about your application may be submitted via email to

To apply please submit a proposal via email that includes the following details at a minimum:

- Registered business name, business overview, problem statement, target customer, & value proposition 

- a detailed summary of your retail business funding needs and which elements of the retail business costs are anticipated to be covered by the grant amount.

- a copy of your business plan to include details about the retail business including expected costs, revenues, and profit as well as the plan following your secured lease term.

- Photographs and the address of the retail location

- A headshot and bio of the members of business ownership and leadership team

Proposals should be submitted via email in either a pdf or MS PowerPoint form or a link to a video may be submitted.