mentorship program
Rock Hill Community Fridge

What is MercEMPOWER?

The Mercantile is setting on a mission to mentor. Owner, Brittany Kelly, sees a need for a “Femtor” (Female Mentor) for black women ages 21-40 interested in opening a retail store in Rock Hill.

 “I want the future of downtown Rock Hill to be a diverse shopping experience for all. While compiling a list of black owned businesses, I noticed very few retail stores in that group. As a woman who has tried just about every business, having success stories and failures, I want to be able to share what I’ve learned over the years. I want to provide entrepreneurs the platform to host a pop up shop within our store and let them learn along the way without the serious upfront investment.”

The Mercantile will offer a 6 month program of mentoring, teaching the ins and outs of retail. We will use our platform to market the entrepreneurs, give them a free space to set up their own small scale shop within and let them try out their idea. At the end of their 6 months, we will assist them in finding a location and awarding a startup grant. A portion of our proceeds will benefit this new program called MercEmpower.

MercEMPOWER Pop-Up Shop Schedule

Malaysian Lights

August 28th, 2021

Beary Sensitive

July 2020 – August 2021


Coming Spring of 2022, our MercEmpower Program will be transitioning into Cultivate Rock Hill.

A new development for entrepreneurs to participate in a program that teaches skills in the restaurant and retail world while providing a community center. The community center will consist of 23 restaurants /retail shops, an open air amphitheater, an outdoor bar and plenty of opportunity to succeed while offering affordable lease arrangements for entrepreneurs. The community center will be open to the public 7 days a week and an opportunity for our citizens to support local start-ups. 

As part of the project, Cultivate RH will offer a 2 year program called S.E.E.D (Supporting Entrepreneurs + Economic Development). In this program, entrepreneurs will learn all the necessary skills to open a business. Classes in financing, marketing, economics and networking will be offered as key to set them on the path for success. 

Stay tuned to learn more on the upcoming development in downtown Rock Hill.