Small business owners need an advocate in big cities. Yorman Nuñez is helping the Bronx spread the wealth.

Small business owners need an advocate in big cities.

Grist 50

Yorman Nuñez is helping the Bronx spread the wealth.

Yorman Nuñez began community organizing at 13, and at 15 co-founded the Urban Youth Collective, a New York City youth group pushing for education reform. Now he’s making a mark with the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative, where Nuñez works with small businesses, community leaders, and residents to build economic power. To do this, he and his team have created a training program that covers local economic policy, labor unions, and worker cooperatives via a series of lectures and slides.

Nuñez also helps individual business owners overcome logistical hurdles. “You can have Doña María making the best pasteles ever, and the Montefiore medical center wants to contract her for catering, but can’t because she doesn’t process credit card transactions,” Nuñez says. His program aims to provide the technology to fill that gap. The initiative’s end goal: develop the full economic potential of the Bronx’s poor people of color.

Even Nuñez’s hobbies are political. In his spare time he does spoken word. “It’s the sweetest tool used in the community to politicize us, mobilize us, and move us forward.”

Follow Yorman Nuñez

The world feels pretty broken right now. That’s why we need Fixers — bold problem solvers working toward a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck. For our annual list of emerging green leaders, Grist brings you 50 innovators with fresh, forward-thinking solutions to some of humanity's biggest challenges. Credits

Grist 50 Credits

Photo of Yorman Nuñez: Nick Luviene

  • Editors
    Andrew Simon, Amelia Urry
    Designers
    Mignon Khargie, Amelia Bates
    Engineer
    Nathan Letsinger
    Project Manager
    Matt Grisafi
    Social Media
    Cody Permenter
    Video Producer
    Daniel Penner
    Executive Editor
    Scott Dodd
  • Writers
    Clayton Aldern Ted Alvarez Eve Andrews Vishakha Darbha Sabrina Imbler Nathanael Johnson Samantha Larson Katie Mast Amy McDermott Emma Foehringer Merchant Caroline Saunders Darby Minow Smith Katharine Wroth Kate Yoder

Meet All The Fixers

Ready for more? See Grist 50: 2016