He is buying back the block!
A Rhode Island entrepreneur purchased an entire city block to build a cultural facility, AfroTech reports.
Lanre Ajakaiye is a Rhode Island native and the son of Nigerian immigrants. Recently, the entrepreneur decided to purchase a 15,000 square foot city block to make his dream of building a cultural facility come true. “25 Bough Street” is located in the crux of Providence, Rhode Island, and features state-of-the-art technology, 3-D Black history exhibits, a financial literacy and career center, co-working space, and a multi-purpose hall.
Ajakaiye raised funds through the JOBS Act, allowing private companies to participate in Regulation Crowdfunding up to $5 million from community investors. The transformational facility will transform the property in the Olneyville section into a space of education and empowerment for the community.
“The mission for the ‘25 Bough Street Initiative’ spans education, career awareness, health & wellness, and financial empowerment for youth and the community at large…The …development will transform and re-develop a currently blighted property – in what was once a thriving jewelry manufacturing hub…into a multi-purpose, community-anchored facility providing spaces for youth education and empowerment, entrepreneurship, and celebration of life events,” a mission statement on the website reads.
Ajakaiye is also the brains behind The New England Family Fun Festival, an annual community event, and the R.I.S.E. Women’s Leadership Conference, run alongside his wife Hilina. She serves as head of operations and executive director.
When “25 Bough Street” is complete, the Leadership Conference will make that address its headquarters.
Photo Courtesy of Lanre Ajakaiye/AfroTech