StreetWise MBA™ Program offered to Local Food Producers!

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Boston Public Market, Interise and CropCircle Kitchen offer StreetWise MBA™ Program to Local Food Producers!

We are excited to announce a new partnership with Interise and CropCircle Kitchen that will provide innovative business training to local food vendors at the Boston Public Market slated to open in summer 2015.

“Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program has a proven record of helping small businesses grow and flourish, and we’re excited to work with them on a new initiative focused specifically on the needs of food businesses as a way to support our vendors.,” said Liz Morningstar, CEO of the Boston Public Market. “We’re also looking forward to working with CropCircle Kitchen–benefiting from their deep knowledge of the food business and connecting our vendors to their tremendous new commercial kitchen facilities in Dorchester.”

Vendor applicants and local small food businesses will participate in Interise’s award-winning StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program aimed at growing jobs and creating more revenue. The program covers topics such as business development, strategic planning, access to capital, government contacts, financials, marketing and sales, and human resources.

Unlike some formal training, participants in the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program don’t study large corporations, they work on their own businesses. Each participating business functions as a live case and owners use their own experiences as a case study. As business owners learn about each topic, they instantly apply the lessons to their business and implement change.

Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum is already offered in 36 communities across the nation. More than 2,000 entrepreneurs across the country have completed the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum with extraordinary results. Business owners who completed the program retained and created a net total of 8,352 jobs and 64% of business owners who participated enjoyed revenue growth.

“I’m thrilled to enter into this partnership with CropCircle Kitchen and the Boston Public Market,” said Bernard Johnson, Director of National Programs at Interise. “This partnership will help us give a leg up to a diverse group of business owners in this underserved neighborhood of Boston, ensuring the business owners have the tools they need to grow their businesses to the next level.”

CropCircle Kitchen (CCK) operates Boston’s only shared-use commercial kitchen and culinary business incubator. They recently opened a second, new facility in the former Pearl hot dog factory in Dorchester. The Pearl Food Production Small Business Center features a state-of-the-art shared-use commercial kitchen, large cold and frozen storage space, and a separate commissary where CCK staff will offer contract processing options to local farmers and market vendors. CCK will play a key role in advising on curriculum and facilitating connections between market vendors and other Boston-area food businesses. CCK will also recruit other wholesale and retail food businesses to participate in the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program.

“This new partnership between our organizations is a game-changer for local food businesses,” said Jen Faigel, CCK’s Executive Director. “It directly connects Interise’s excellent business education program with CCK’s hands-on food production training and shared kitchen facilities, and links them to the tremendous opportunity for retail sales at the new Boston Public Market. CCK is thrilled to be partnering on this effort.”

On September 29 from 6-8 p.m. at 196 Quincy Street in Dorchester, the organizations will host a tour of CCK’s Pearl Food Production Center, where vendor applicants and local small food businesses will be able to learn about funding, business planning, bookkeeping and marketing opportunities available to them.

In addition to gaining new knowledge, participants in the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program will also make valuable connections with their fellow market vendors, small food businesses from CropCircle Kitchen, other business owners and experts. Working through similar business challenges with entrepreneurs like themselves removes that feeling of isolation and provides access to the resources, relationships, and structure needed to successfully scale their business.

At the end of the program, participants emerge with a certificate of small business and entrepreneurship and a Strategic Growth Action Plan™ — a three-year plan designed throughout the program outlining business goals and the specific action steps necessary to achieve them. Enrolling in the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ also provides ongoing access to and inclusion in the Interise business directory, educational webinars, networking events, CEO Groups, seminars, and the Private Sector Network (PSN), Interise’s “Instant Rolodex” of business experts and volunteers.

“Developing the three-year strategic plan helped us gain immense insight into our business and allowed us to move forward with confidence,” said Daniel Cordon, SWMBA participant and former Director of Wholesale and Transitional Employment for Haley House Bakery Café in Roxbury. “The knowledge, commitment, and richness of resources offered through the StreetWise MBA’™ can assist any small business looking to become successful and sustainable.”

The Boston Public Market will be a permanent, year-round, self-sustaining market featuring fresh locally sourced food brought directly to and from the diverse people that make up Massachusetts and New England. The market’s permanent, indoor location on the Greenway directly above the Haymarket MBTA station is slated to open next year. The Boston Public Market currently runs two seasonal farmers markets each year along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, featuring over 30 local producers.