Windham Grows Farm & Food Business Accelerator Accepting Applications for BIPOC-focused 2020-2021 Cohort
BRATTLEBORO, VT — Windham Grows, a food and agriculture business accelerator that connects entrepreneurs with mentoring, industry connections and support, is accepting applications for its winter 2020-21 program.
This upcoming program is geared toward growing the businesses of BIPOC entrepreneurs. “In the interest of creating equity in our food systems, and our continuing work to incorporate long-silenced voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) farmers and food-producers in our programming, our next Windham Grows cohort will be made up of BIPOC farmers and food entrepreneurs,” enthused Strolling of the Heifers Executive Director, Lissa Harris. “BIPOC communities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID pandemic, while continuing to face systemic racism,” Harris said, “In addition to our standard curriculum, we will focus on addressing the challenges and barriers to success that are particular to the BIPOC farming and food producing community in New England, including access to land, banking and finance. We will also address the new landscape COVID has created for all entrepreneurs.”
Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the program will learn how to grow their farm or food business with concentrated sessions on marketing, finance, production, technology and entrepreneur mindset over the six-month course.
Windham Grows has brought in over $2.2 million in outside investments to regional businesses that have completed the program.
“Over the last few years, we have been growing our team of consultants whose areas of expertise are of particular importance to our cohort members,” said Program Director, Peter Doran, “For this cohort, we recognize that our organization is majority white, and to address that we’re pleased to add James Morrell to our team of consultants.” James has over 25 years of experience in the organic and natural foods industry focusing on retail systems and operations management, and advocates a dynamic approach to merchandising, sales promotion, and exceptional customer service. “Cultivating a viable and locally focused food system is at the core of building healthy communities, and the work of Windham Grows directly addresses the need to support the workers and entrepreneurs who are the foundation for sustaining this mission into the future,” commented Morrell, “I look forward to collaborating with this great team in this important and significant program.”
Other consultants include Jim Verzino, Annette Rexroad, Rose Wilson, Annie Harlow, and Nico Lustig.
Windham Grows is a FREE program thanks to funding from Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. Qualified candidates will join a growing network of fellow entrepreneurs and leaders in food-focused industries.
Applications are now being accepted at http://windhamgrows.org.