Small Business

Noelle Minter is the CEO and founder of 3rd Wind Network , a community for adults seeking an active and engaging retirement experience. “We create environments that allow recent retirees to communicate with one another,” said Minter. “Currently that includes social, creative events and classes.” Some of the classes and excursions include wellness, personal growth, fine dining, and a book club.

Before her business, Minter worked in the field of aging services for more than 10 years. Her experience led her to form 3rd Wind to give older adults a unique opportunity to explore some of their creative ambitions. “Prior to their retirement, they have to take care of a family, make ends meet, and never have the chance to put themselves first. This is a chance for them to explore who they are as a person—beyond their family and work.”

To get started, Minter attended HCCI’s Small Business Development Seminar. The 12-week program took her through the steps needed to write a business plan. Upon she completion, she entered her plan into a citywide competition, and won third place.

“The class forced me to sit down, do the work, and really think it through,” Minter explained. “The camaraderie we experienced and the support was essential. All of the guest instructors were really enthusiastic about our progress.”

According to Rev. Dr. Charles Butler, VP of Equitable Development at HCCI and instructor of the seminar, “The Small Business Development Seminar is one of many ways that HCCI helps Harlem residents to establish an ownership stake in Harlem and contribute to the local economy.”

“We are very concerned about small businesses and local business ownership in this community,” said Malcolm Punter, president & CEO of HCCI. “In the economic development portion of our mission, HCCI’s goal is to maintain revenue within the community that it’s derived from.”

Minter is also a member of the HCCI-established Bradhurst Merchants Association (BMA). Founded to bolster commerce in Harlem’s Bradhurst community, the BMA supports 40 local businesses, like 3rd Wind Network, that help stimulate economic growth along the commercial corridors in the Bradhurst neighborhood.

3rd Wind benefits from the support Minter has received from HCCI, and she wants to pass it onto others. Her business has a double bottom-line, to profit while improving the lives of others. “Sometimes folks retire and the retirement experience is hard for a good deal of people. I created an environment where they can be amongst their peers, other active older adults who are looking to have a positive retirement experience.”

For more information on 3rd Wind, visit To learn more about HCCI’s business opportunities, visit