Soria City Commercial Revitalization Project

Client: Mississippi Center for Justice
Faculty: Kate Collignon and Kei Hayashi
Team: Shira Gidding, Jennifer Lozano, Christopher Narducci, Andrea Perkins
Year: 2009
The Capstone team partnered with the Mississippi Center for Justice, a nonprofit, public interest law firm, in an effort to strengthen the commercial sector of Soria City, a small African American neighborhood of Gulfport, Mississippi that continues to struggle from the adverse impacts of Hurricane Katrina. The team provided essential tools for two aspiring entrepreneurs whose start-ups are expected to boost the neighborhood's overall vitality. Tools included a business plan, a market analysis, assistance with Minority/Women Business Enterprise certification, and a comprehensive guide of loan resources for each entrepreneur. For the broader community, the Capstone team coordinated with local business support organizations to plan a community workshop and networking event. The team also conducted a public survey and community meeting to identify local needs, and produced a community action guide to address broader development issues such as accessibility, street conditions, and zoning.