Urban Juncture Capitalizes on New Crowdfunding Law for Bronzeville Businesses 

June 8, 2016
Karis Hustad

Bernard Loyd has always wanted Urban Juncture, his Bronzeville-based culinary incubator and theater space, to be an organization for the community, by the community.

So when the JOBS Act crowdfunding laws, which state anyone can invest in a business through equity crowdfunding portals, went into place May 16, he was among the first to launch a campaign for people to invest in Urban Juncture.

Community projects at Urban...

"Previously you had to be rich to make an investment in a startup company," he said. "The reality in our community is that the vast majority of folks don’t fit into that category."

With equity crowdfunding, however, "anyone can invest," he said. "We can now do it online and reach an audience that we never before could have reached," he added.

Urban Juncture was selected as one of 20 featured crowdfunding projects to launch on Wefunder, a Y Combinator-backed crowdfunding portal that recently went on an 11 city tour searching for projects for their site. As a selected project, Urban Juncture received additional mentorship and resources from Wefunder, as well as help developingUrban Juncture's project site.

Initially Urban Juncture is seeking to raise $100,000 to fund renovations on The Forum, an abandoned theater on 43rd street in Bronzeville that was once a center for social, political, and civic events. Loyd wants to see its purpose as a center for community engagement on the south side restored.

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