In a commentary by Eric K. Hontz, senior program officer at The Center for International Private Enterprise, it focuses on how Baltimore residents and neighborhoods can break the cycle of poverty and create a virtuous cycle of prosperity and opportunity.
He points out to the model of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a bank owned which invests in private enterprises with commercial partners. The EBRD offers many financial products, including loan and equity financing, guarantees, leasing services and trade finance.
Hontz advises that through equity contributed by Baltimore, the state of Maryland, university endowments, foundations and impact investment funds, Baltimore's bank could get government, foundation and commercial buy-in.
According to Hontz, by leveraging the bank's equity and a partnership model, the bank could drive billions into Baltimore's communities. He adds that the concept of a public-private bank aimed at comprehensive redevelopment of a city can be an opportunity for Baltimore.
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Florence Norman founded Sweet Cavanagh, an award-winning peer-led aftercare social enterprise based in Notting Hill. The company hires women and trains them how to make and design jewelry. However, these women are in the process of recovering from eating disorders and addictions.