Allen Woods

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Allen Woods

2017 Black Male Achievement Fellow
Founder of MORTAR with Derrick Braziel

Allen Woods 2017 Black Male Achievement Fellow

Bold Idea 

Economically strengthen marginalized communities throughout the U.S. by offering accessible entrepreneurship classes, pop up shop opportunities and mentorship to under-served adults and youth.


Produced by Drive Media for #StartUpCincy

Photos courtesy of Allen Woods.

Founded in May of 2014, MORTAR Cincinnati exists to build communities through entrepreneurship. MORTAR offers a 12-week business accelerator class, access to micro-loans through our Iron Chest Fund, as well as a revolving pop-up shop named Brick OTR. MORTAR works to ensure that all entrepreneurs and small businesses, regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, race, or background, have an opportunity to participate in the rejuvenation of their community. As a result, MORTAR provides access to programming designed to lower barriers for under-represented entrepreneurs to compete and succeed in our 52 neighborhoods.


Allen is the creative force behind the MORTAR brand, as well as a business consultant and training facilitator for students entering MORTAR's Entrepreneurship Academy. MORTAR's programming is designed to assist long-time residents in redeveloping communities to create or grow businesses right in their home areas, capitalizing on the growth in popularity of these booming neighborhoods. As the creative director at MORTAR, Woods relies on over 25 years of entrepreneurship experience and a background in photography, graphic design, and consulting to mold the organization's clean visual presence. Allen also assists MORTAR alumni with developing their brand identities, development strategies, and marketing plans. Recognized as a 2016 Cincinnati Business Courier 40 under 40 Business Leader, Allen Woods is also a sought after public speaker and brand strategist who has assisted directly in the growth of hundreds of small businesses and personal brands across the globe. He has been featured in Cincinnati Magazine, NBC Nightly News, and Politico.

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