Jay Bailey, president & CEO, H.J. Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (RCIE) welcomes ACE’s Ray Pennie, president of business development, to the new office.
ACE is excited to announce that we’ve opened our Atlanta office in the Russell Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE), located at 504 Fair St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30313. The new office residency started June 1, 2019.
“RCIE is a great location for us,” said Grace Fricks, president and CEO of ACE. “We are a complementary resource for its members and the community at large. By being in-place at RCIE, we are helping to lessen the challenges some business owners face by being an easily accessible source for those seeking capital, coaching and connections. While small business ownership is not the solution for every underserved person, entrepreneurship is a proven pathway from poverty to the middle class. ACE’s goals are to increase the number of quality loans and total dollars deployed to underserved populations, which will support business expansion, asset-building and the creation of jobs that support communities and families.”
ACE is a community development financial institution — a vehicle that is best positioned to drive change for small-business entrepreneurs in Atlanta. With a 19-year track record in Georgia, ACE has been and continues to be intentional in its efforts to be part of the communities it serves. With the new office at RCIE, ACE will be even more entrenched in the community and economic development ecosystem of the area.
Located in the heart of Atlanta’s “Opportunity Zones,” on the Westside across from Morehouse College and next to the historic Paschal’s restaurant, RCIE houses more than 50,000 square feet of affordable coworking, meeting and makerspace. It also offers educational, mentoring, networking and capital resources, and is dedicated to creating jobs, scaling companies and increasing wealth in the community. Similar to ACE’s own mission, RCIE is driven by community impact devoted to empowering African American entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
The new office comes at a critical time, as ACE implements the second year of its five-year strategic growth plan. The nonprofit plans to grow its portfolio to $52 million by 2022 allowing it to deepen its impact to serve its clientele of underserved small business-owners in Georgia, with a focus on women and people of color. With more staff in and around Atlanta than ever before, the office at RCIE enables them to welcome more entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses.