Marquas Ashworth doesn’t plan to break ground on his Center @ Sixth project until spring, but he’s already sending two businesses through his incubator program.

Once completed, the building at 1714 Sixth Ave. will house a non-profit organization that helps black and brown entrepreneurs build their businesses with the help of area professionals such as attorneys, accountants and planners.

To help test the concept, he’s working with Nadia La Baker and Jambo African Cuisine, helping both open stands at the downtown Des Moines farmers market. Ashworth said the concept seems to be working and the two owners have regularly sold their products every Saturday.

The Center @ Sixth, 1714 Sixth Ave., will have space for black and brown-owned businesses to sell their products, as well as apartments above.

More:Rapper and entrepreneur Marquas Ashworth is working to create black-owned businesses: ‘We can come together’

“It’s been cool to see it work,” he said, adding “It’s more fun than making money, making music, making whiskey.” Beyond developing Center @ Sixth, Ashworth is a hip-hop artist, producer and founder of Media Fresh Records and creator of small batch whiskey Ziyad Rye.

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