Baltimore has been the scene of recent unrest, sparked by the death of 25-year-old African-American Freddie Gray in police custody.
The causes of the unrest, many say, is rooted in social inequality that runs rampant through many parts of the city and much of the US.
Local civil rights activist Dayvon Love told Al Jazeera that government and non-profit agencies try to "manage disaster" rather than investing in longer-term solutions, and that the results so far have not been transformative.
Love is part of a group of figures in Baltimore's African-American community promoting black entrepreneurship.
Another such figure, Rasheed Aziz, teaches African-American youths to print designs on t-shirts at his small business.
Aziz says that the programme is not only about making clothing, but keeping kids off the streets. He hopes that someday they will become business owners themselves.
A new research study looked at data from urban centres around the US and found that in areas where African-Americans were increasing their business ownership, there were positive results beyond the business bottom line.
Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo reports from Baltimore.
Source: Al Jazeera