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.

HOW IT WORKS

Feeding Innovation participants engage in a ten week entrepreneurial training program featuring Clemson Agribusiness curriculum 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 ten week period before presenting them to a panel of judges during a final pitch event. The three entrepreneurs with the strongest business plans are awarded $5,000, $10,000, and $30,000 in seed capital.

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

CURRENT SESSION INFORMATION

Feeding Innovation 2021: Cycle 1 is is currently underway.

Applications will be accepted for Feeding Innovation 2021: Cycle 2 May 3rd - June 4th. Classes take place June 30 - September 1st and Pitch Nights take place September 21-23. Subscribe to the SCCLF newsletter below to stay up to date on program announcements!

APPLY HERE

Download the Program Application User Guide here

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

PAST PROGRAMS

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 113 participants, resulting in the completion of 84 healthy food business plans. A total of $170,000 in seed capital funding has been awarded through the program to help increase access to healthy food across the state.