Nathan B Phillips


Stephanie leads Eagle Market Street Development Corporation, a 501(c)3 in Asheville NC, which serves the Asheville Buncombe community in property development, economic development and access to human services.

Episode Recap

Stephanie discusses the origins and history of Eagle Market Street coming into existence as a grassroots response to need for the local Black community to preserve its heritage and create growth opportunities for business owners in the community.

Coming from a background in banking & finance before transitioning to a small business owner, Stephanie joined Eagle Market Street after volunteering through AmeriCorps. Her experience at banks and credit unions opened her eyes to the systemic barriers within traditional finance for people of color, and this insight is core motivator behind her creating new means and methods for funding, asset building, and wealth creation for communities of color.

Transformations happens this way… first there is a relevation within ourselves. We become keenly aware of something innate within us that has put us on our path. And once you know something, you can’t unknow it.

Stephanie Swepson Twitty

Stephanie is putting this into motion at Eagle Market Street to create equitable and inclusive capitalism for people and communities of color through these following programs:

  • Small Business Development services to help small businesses grow to the next level
  • Incubate to Innovate Program to provide leasing support services for businesses in Asheville
  • Community Benefit Partner as a fiscal sponsor for emerging non-profits to raise funds
  • Community Equity Fund to infuse capital into emerging businesses in an equitable way
  • Catawba Community Space for hosting events and connectin growing small businesses
  • Catawba Bell Business Hub for small business incubation and coworking

To contact Stephanie Swepson Twitty, please send an email to or call 828-281-1227

Guest Bio

Stephanie is a native of  Western North Carolina and a Community Economic Development  professional. With more than 20+ years in the nonprofit Industry,  Stephanie is a champion and an activist working with  Black/Indigenous/POC businesses to help them become “asset builders and  wealth creators.”

Stephanie Swepson-Twitty of Old Fort knows the history of the Block firsthand. After a career in banking and finance, she and her husband opened a shop in 2002, Stevie’s Originals, which sold home decor from the Ivory Coast and Ghana. However, running the business proved to be a struggle for the young entrepreneurs.

Swepson-Twitty then decided to switch gears. She joined the Eagle Market Streets Development Corp., an Asheville nonprofit founded in 1994 by Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church senior pastor John Grant and his congregants, as an AmeriCorps intern. The nonprofit aims to increase economic and social opportunities in the area through property development and workforce development.

By 2008, Swepson-Twitty took to the helm of the organization as the president and CEO. She remains closely involved in the effort to help bring customers and residents back to The Block.

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