Michigan Good Food Fund bolsters lending with business assistance aimed at helping entrepreneurs prepare for financing and take their ventures to the next level.
We offer one-on-one consulting and workshops aimed at growing the business acumen of good food enterprises. We also connect enterprises with external resources through our statewide referral network. Sign up for our updates to stay in the loop on fund news and business assistance offerings.
See below for business assistance offerings and descriptions of past workshops.
Leveraging partnerships and a network of consultants, we provide one-on-one consulting to enterprises on a path to financing. Our goal is to strengthen loan readiness and future success by connecting candidates with experts in the field. Topics of support include business planning, financial management, food-safety compliance, marketing, packaging, operations management, and more.
We also host periodic workshops for all stages of food businesses. These trainings target select geographic communities or specific food business sectors such as grocery retailers, value-added producers, food hub management, or other sectors in the value chain. While some workshops are offered by the fund, others are done in partnership with other local and statewide efforts. See our Workshops page for latest offerings.
Previous Michigan Good Food Fund workshops have included:
- Business Boot Camp: This training gives selected entrepreneurs the skills and resources they need to take their businesses to the next level. Featuring skill building sessions with industry mentors and fellow entrepreneurs, this multi-day training covers marketing, telling your story, break-even analysis, understanding financial statements, fundraising, and more. The event culminates in a competition where entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a panel of investors and compete for an award. Read more about our past Boot Camps in Battle Creek, Flint, and Grand Rapids.
- Bodega Bootcamp: This training provides grocery retailers and community stakeholders a crash course on how to put fresh, healthy food at the center of their store. Read our story on how this training grew the business know-how of existing and aspiring Michigan grocers.
We also connect enterprises with external resources through our statewide referral network. While we strive to support all businesses that come our way, not all are ready for financing or align with the our mission-driven criteria. For businesses we are unable to directly help, our goal is to connect them to other resources that can help their business succeed. This could include skill-building information, other funding sources, or introduction to experts in the field.
For a primer on funding sources for food-related businesses, check out this resource compiled by fund partner Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.
Business Assistance Leads
Business assistance is led by Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and Fair Food Network. Fair Food Network’s focus is grocery retail and good food entrepreneurs; the Center’s focus is production, aggregation and distribution, as well as agricultural and protein processing projects.