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Industry NewsBlack-owned non-profit Foodpreneur Lab addresses systemic barriers

Black-owned non-profit Foodpreneur Lab addresses systemic barriers


Foodpreneur Lab, a Black woman-founded and led Canadian non-profit is disrupting the food ecosystem by addressing systemic barriers. Its advisor-led Start and Scale Support Paths provide free access for Black food entrepreneurs to focus on their unique business goals. With 50 participants already enrolled with Foodpreneur Lab since the first cohort launch in November 2021, applications for cohort two are now open on until February 28th, 2022 at 11:59 pm ET.

This project is funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Applicants from Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe, Wellington, Frontenac, Dufferin, Prescott and Russell, Stormont, Renfrew, Lanark, Leeds & Grenville, Dundas & Glengarry will be given priority. Applicants from the Greater Toronto Area will also be accepted.

Founded in 2019, Foodpreneur Lab is made up of diverse entrepreneurs and experts in the food sector. The team is led by Janice Bartley, who uses her 30 years of experience in food and entrepreneurship to open doors that have historically been closed to underserved communities.

The nine-month Advisor-Led Start and Scale Support Paths include one-on-one individualized support, hands-on experience in commercial production space, and time to complete the required certifications to operate (Food Handlers’, HACCP, etc.). The result will be that by December 2024, 200 Black food entrepreneurs will have received the support and knowledge needed to successfully run their businesses. While the project has a focus on Ontario, they have a strong national mandate to improve support for food entrepreneurs at every touchpoint.

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