Business Development for Food Entrepreneurs
The Micro Mercantes community micro-enterprise program grew out of the needs expressed by Hacienda’s residents. In 2006, a group of 20 or so low-income, Latina women living in Hacienda’s properties approached the organization, interested in selling tamales at the farmers markets to supplement their family incomes. We responded by developing a small food incubator program called Micro Mercantes. The program provided some coaching and hands-on help to prepare for a successful market experience, and access to a network of kitchens provided by community organizations.
Today, Micro Merchants also offers business advising and and a formalized 12-week business development curriculum called Arrancando mi Negocio, or ‘getting my business started.’ Micro Mercantes also offers some capital in the form on Individual Development Accounts and KIVA ZIP.