Feeding Innovation

Feeding Innovation is a comprehensive technical assistance program designed to support entrepreneurs interested in developing or expanding healthy food businesses in food deserts or underserved areas of the state. The goal of the program is to increase access to healthy food while supporting the development of strong, local entrepreneurs and community-based businesses.


Feeding Innovation participants engage in a ten week entrepreneurial training program featuring NxLevel Courses facilitated by Clemson Extension. The courses cover everything needed to develop a basic healthy food business plan from marketing to financial planning to negotiations and deal-making. With help from the course instructor and industry experts, participants refine their ideas and develop their business plans over the eight week period before presenting them to a panel of judges during a final pitch event. The entrepreneur with the strongest business plan is awarded $20,000 in seed capital.

Congratulations to the winner of Feeding Innovation Bluffton, LadyBelle Farm Market!


Feeding Innovation Columbia is open to Columbia-area (ie, Lexington and Richland counties) participants. It will meet virtually on Wednesday evenings September 23 - December 2.

Applications are no long being accepted for Feeding Innovation Columbia. Applicants can expect to hear from SCCLF regarding their acceptance into the program at the end of August.


Questions? Contact Program Manager Kelly Sharkey at kelly@sccommunityloanfund.org to learn more about future sessions.


SC Community Loan Fund, in partnership with Clemson Agricultural Extension, has hosted ten Feeding Innovation rounds since the program was established in 2014. These programs have brought in a total of 101 participants, resulting in the completion of 74 healthy food business plans. A total of $125,000 in seed capital funding has been awarded through the program to help increase access to healthy food across the state.