Win the corner, win the block, win the neighborhood.
THEORY OF CHANGE
We see neighborhoods as defined by their strengths and experienced as places of opportunity. Where others perceive a lack of resources, we see vast potential for growth and prosperity. Under-resourced urban and rural areas are incredible reservoirs of untapped talent, where scarcity of investment and amenities fosters fertile ground for local innovation, creativity, and thought leadership. For Urbane, the chance to collaborate with and invest in the people and places that make these communities shine is a no-brainer.
THE POWER OF COMMUNITY ANCHORS
We focus on small businesses and other local anchors because their role offers unparalleled insight and influence, making them powerful, positive agents for change. Our work is rooted in a participatory action research (PAR) approach, fomenting the transformative strength of these anchors.
Our work with communities should disrupt the status-quo. Attaining performance parity with mainstream markets is not the goal, this is about investing in communities so they operate at the cutting edge. The Focus Areas of our work seek to transform perception – to recognize that underserved communities are engines for innovation and prosperity.
Urbane builds bridges toward equitable distribution of wealth and power. We foster community-led solutions through research, advisory, and place-based development and investment. By centering the wisdom and solutions already in communities, we aim to build a future of prosperity and shared wealth.
We Believe that Trust Transforms.
Trust is the foundation of Urbane’s process and our company at large. As connectors, mediators, and deep listeners, we build trust between ourselves and communities, between communities and partners, and in all steps of our work. Our stakeholders say, time and time again, that our work is unlike any other. It is that trust that we work hard to earn and give so authentically to communities that transforms our process and this work.
The idea to forge a new entrepreneurial path was born amidst Italian cliffs while attending the annual Terra Madre conference in Turin; already an early pioneer in healthy food financing initiatives that would soon proliferate nationally, our founder became the bodega man, bridging the ubiquitous neighborhood staple with an inkling that these dynamic spaces – community anchors in their own right – had the power to be transformative.
If you could transform the corner of the block, perhaps you could seed the change for an entire street, and even begin to revitalize an entire neighborhood. And thus, Urbane sprouted its wings in 2008, born out of bodegas, a Philly grind, and the hustle and determination to create pathways to wealth and opportunity for black, brown, and marginalized communities across the nation.