Xquina Incubator and Café Breaks Ground in Little Village

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

By: Ashmar Mandou

The Foundation of Little Village broke ground on their long-awaited project, Xquina Incubator and Café on Tuesday in front of a crowd of supporters, including State Representative Elizabeth Hernandez, Alderman Mike Rodriquez, and residents of Little Village.

“The Foundation of Little Village was built on the concept that by working together with the Little Village community, entrepreneurs, local leaders, and partners, we can achieve economic advancement while preserving the rich culture of and revitalizing the iconic 26th Street Corridor in Little Village,” said Dan Arce, Board president of the Foundation of Little Village. “The Xquina Incubator and Café ties directly into this concept, and we’re thrilled to be here today taking the next step as we create new opportunities for our neighbors.”

The Xquina Incubator and Café, designed to provide local entrepreneurs access to the Xquina Business Ecosystem, including coaching sessions, financial assistance, cultural amenities, referral network, and much more, will be located in a 13,000 square foot space in an 1880s-era building and premier as the business hub for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“Little Village is a cultural epicenter and beloved home to a community rich in culture, spirit, and entrepreneurial drive,” said Illinois State Representative Elizabeth Hernandez. “The Foundation of Little Village is a vital line of support in this vibrant community, and the Xquina Incubator and Café will be a centerpiece of the nonprofit’s critical efforts to drive economic equality, prosperity, and advancement for Little Village.”

According to the Foundation of Little Village, the Xquina Incubator and Café will be completed in two phases with the first phase expected to open in June 2024. Phase one will include a business incubator, local café, multipurpose media room, and shared commercial kitchen. The second phase will include co-working office, private offices, podcasting room, video production room, local artist gallery, and training rooms.

“The Xquina Incubator and Café will serve as the central hub for the Xquina Business Ecosystem to thrive in and provide a space for Little Village entrepreneurs to learn, grow, and prosper,” said Kim Close, executive director of the Foundation of Little Village. “Through thoughtful partnerships, we’ve built the Xquina Business Ecosystem to link entrepreneurs to solution sets that provide business services and meet the unique and individual needs of Little Village entrepreneurs.”

The Foundation of Little Village was founded in August 2018 with a mission to create a socioeconomic impact system for Little Village entrepreneurs. In this time, the Foundation of Little Village has supported more than 250 local small businesses with culturally relevant educational programming, professional services, and access to capital. To learn more about the mission and the resources provided by the Foundation, visit www.flvchicago.org.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Photo Credit: Foundation of Little Village

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