Boston Public Market Entrepreneurship Program, Powered by Citizens

The Market is launching the Boston Public Market Entrepreneurship Forum, powered by Citizens, a six-seminar series to support financial and business development of our small business community. This forum will culminate in the Boston Public Market Incubator Program powered by Citizens, an opportunity for local minority-owned businesses to sell their wares in the Market, free of charge for up to one year.

Applications for participation are NOW OPEN, with an EXTENDED DEADLINE of August 7, 2022. 


ABOUT

The Boston Public Market is a civic, community-building space for farmers, fishers, food
entrepreneurs, neighbors, customers, and partners who come together around the common
culture of food. We create opportunity for small businesses to thrive, and nourish our community
with experiences, conversation, and education about public health and the impact of buying
local food. Year-round festivals, workshops, cooking classes, and tours create an engaging,
educational experience and a vibrant environment for everyone.
We want to ensure that our community provides opportunities for all people – especially those
adversely impacted by our current economic system. The wealth gap in New England is large
and continues to grow, and we know that it disproportionately affects communities and
entrepreneurs of color.
Entrepreneurs hoping to produce and sell specialty products or prepared food in the City of
Boston are invited to attend the Boston Public Market and Citizens Entrepreneurship Forum for
a holistic opportunity to assess and grow their business model. The educational seminars
involve speaking panels by industry leaders on key topics for nurturing a small business in
today’s world, workshopping an idea, coaching from the Boston Public Market Association
(BPMA) staff and vendors, and networking with community partners.


ELIGIBILITY

  • Businesses must be based in New England and able to provide goods/services to the Boston area. 
  • Businesses must have fewer than three retail locations as of June 2022. 
  • A business owner or representative must attend all Forum sessions. 
  • Applicants intending to proceed to the Incubator Program must be prepared to execute and sell their goods within a retail environment by the conclusion of the Forums.

TIMELINE

  • July 5, 2022- Applications for participation open
  • August 7, 2022- Application submission deadline
  • August 15, 2022- Applicants notified of acceptance into Forum
  • Week of September 12, 2022- Seminar 1
  • Week of October 10, 2022- Seminar 2
  • Week of November 14, 2022- Seminar 3
  • Week of December 12, 2022- Seminar 4
  • Week of January 16, 2023- Seminar 5
  • Week of February 13, 2023- Seminar 6, Final Presentation Day
  • February 27, 2023- Winners notified
  • May 1, 2023: First Incubator Stall opens at the Boston Public Market

POTENTIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM TOPICS

*Please note that all content is tentative and will be tailored to the needs of our applicants*

1) Community Assessment and Understanding Boston’s Market Districts
Theme: It is key for all potential small business owners to assess and understand the dynamics,
community demographics, and sector-specific economic details of his or her market and
location. Considerations or barriers to success can include target audiences, local competition,
traffic flow and zoning of the surrounding areas, etc.

2) Investing in and Funding Food Businesses
Theme: Topics for this section can include sources of capital, preparation of a loan application
and available assistance. We can also help to answer the questions:

What are the key goals for investors/funders in Boston?

What kinds of investment exist in Boston for small food companies?

What advice you give for food business startups? How does the business owner
respond to the Investors/Funders goals?

3) Elevator Pitch Day
At the midway point through the seminars, attendees would be invited to share a brief concept
and business proposal with a panel of thought leaders in a “Shark Tank” style pitch. Finalists
after this seminar would have the opportunity to receive additional coaching via small groups or
one-on-one training.

4) Branding & Marketing in a Social Media Era

Theme: Developing a marketing plan or strategy to enable the small business owner/operator to
identify the most effective means to reach their customers and establish communication with
them. This will also focus on brand development.

5) The Business of Food Retail
Theme: With a focus on the potential challenges of being a small food business in Boston’s
retail environment, this seminar would also cover the nuts and bolts of good business practices
including accounting, taxes, government aid opportunities, and lessons other small business
owners have learned along the way.

6) Final presentations for participation in the Incubator Program
As a conclusion to the program and in our efforts to support the development of minority-owned
businesses, BIPOC finalists will be invited to present their completed business proposals. Up to
four participants will be invited to continue onto our Incubator Program.


HOW TO APPLY

Click here to apply

If you have any questions or concerns about the Entrepreneurship Forum, please email entrepreneurship@bostonpublicmarket.org