Derrick Braziel

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Derrick Braziel

2017 Black Male Achievement Fellow
Founder of MORTAR with Allen Woods

Derrick Braziel 2017 Black Male Achievement Fellow

Bold Idea 

Create thriving, economically diverse communities by enabling under-represented, minority entrepreneurs to access the tools and resources needed to start and scale their own businesses.


Produced by Drive Media for #StartUpCincy

Derrick Braziel addressing young professionals through an event with the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of Derrick Braziel.

Derrick Braziel and his business partners sharing a special moment in front of their Cincinnati office. Photo courtesy of Derrick Braziel.

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.


Derrick Braziel is a creative entrepreneur who is committed to the idea that all it takes to change the world is, "a dollar and a dream." He serves as a co-founder and Managing Director of MORTAR, an organization dedicated to enabling under-represented entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. His work has led to recognition from the Indianapolis Star, YES! Magazine, Next City, Politico and NBC Nightly News. He has been named to Forbes' 30 under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurs and "One to Watch" by Cincinnati Magazine. He's a member of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's C-Change Class 11 as well as a BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) Fellow. He is the proud of son of two first-generation college graduates, and he earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Wittenberg University.

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