Shamika Baker, former director of the City of Jacksonville’s Small and Emerging Business Program, has been named Managing Director of FreshMinistries’ Beaver Street Enterprise Center.
In her new role, she will manage tenant services, programs and community relations for Beaver Street Enterprise Center, Jacksonville’s only core- city business incubator.
“It’s a great opportunity of course,” Baker said. “Beaver Street is its own success story; its successes and its name speak for itself. I have been challenged to build on that success and I am looking forward to it.”
Prior to working for the city, Baker worked for the State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, State Rep. Frank Peterman, the Florida House Elder and Longterm Care Committee and the office of the president of Florida A&M University.
“We are very pleased to have Shamika on our team,” said the Rev. Dr. Robert V. Lee III, founder and CEO of FreshMinistries. “She has such energy, great ideas and a wealth of valuable experience. We know she will move Beaver Street Enterprise Center into a new era of success for our clients and for the community.”
Established by FreshMinistries in 2003, the Beaver Street Enterprise Center has incubated more than 100 companies, generating more than 2,000 jobs and $300 million dollars in revenue. The center offers start-up business clients assistance with professional office space at below-market rent, along with mentoring, helping with strategic planning and creation of financial plans, legal services, marketing services and more.
One of Baker’s first priorities will be to recruit tenants for Beaver Street Enterprise Center’s Phase II building, a newly completed 15,500-square-foot tech-smart facility just across the street from BSEC’s main office complex.
She looks forward to working closely with BSEC’s partners, including the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida, Florida Coastal School of Law, Scale Up North Florida, SCORE, the Chamber of Commerce and the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center.
“That’s one thing I like about the small-business community in Northeast Florida,” Baker said. “We work together and we all want to see small businesses succeed.”
Baker has a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in pre-law from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She is a member of the Jacksonville Junior League, a Community Hospice volunteer, a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida Achievers for Life program, and a member of First Baptist Church of Mandarin (Hopewell).