Cafe-Workspace to Open in South Memphis

Ayele Akibulan, dba Kemet Nu Enterprises, was awarded a $15,000 Inner City Economic Development (ICED) Loan to help improve the exterior appearance, replace the roof, and install an HVAC system at 988/990 Mississippi Boulevard. Total project costs are $90,000 and project costs qualified for forgivable Inner City Economic Development Loan funds are estimated to be $59,700. 

Mr. Akibulan has a Bachelor of Business Administration from LeMoyne-Owen College and a Masters in Human Resource Management from Webster University. He has 20 years of experience in restaurant and entertainment ventures. He has also spent 17 years as a staffing manager and is currently employed with Shelby County Schools. Kemet Nu will derive most of its revenue from food sales. Its business model is to provide Internet access to the community in general; but also, target job seekers and small business owners who need an alternative workspace during the day. Printers, faxing, and a conference room will be available in a café setting. In the evenings, the space will be used as a cultural resource center with live entertainment, poetry readings, music, and documentary screenings. 

The loan will help Mr. Akibulan restore the 1,520 square foot building constructed in 1964. In addition to an extensive interior remodel, the exterior façade will be restored, the roof replaced, electrical upgraded, and new HVAC installed. This project is supported by Community LIFT and Delectable D&W Foodservice and Catering.  

For more information about this project, please visit the EDGE Project Database

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