4 Access Partners
Who We Serve
Who We Serve
4 Access Partners was created to connect our partners with the entrepreneurs and job seekers who are most in need of advice and industry expertise. We believe that any industry stands to benefit from increased diversity, and that every hard working entrepreneur deserves access to information that will help them succeed in business. We focus on raising up underrepresented members of local food ecosystems, with a focus on woman- and/or BIPOC-led companies. Our goal is to provide these underserved entrepreneurs and employees with the resources they need to take their companies to the next level. To date, we have engaged over 50 clients, all of whom have been referred to us by community leaders and groups.
Our Proven Model
Using our proven Intellectual Philanthropy model, we help clients take their products from the kitchen all the way to the supermarket shelf and into the hands of consumers. Central to this model is the exchange of information between employees from some of the country’s finest food companies and local entrepreneurs. Volunteers offer their expertise to help clients identify their most pressing needs and overcome obstacles on the path to growing their business. Our volunteers and partners also offer structured training, access to capital, and opportunities to scale by improving the manufacturing process. When volunteers leverage their connections and expertise to support our cause, entrepreneurs succeed.
We have created a multi-stage system that allows us to meet our clients where they are at and stick beside them as they grow, all the way through their graduation from our program. Clients begin at our Bronze level and progress all the way through the Platinum level, at which point they “graduate” from their partnership with 4 Access Partners. Entrepreneurs who have progressed to this stage are equipped with the knowledge and acumen needed to continue managing and growing their business.
We only succeed if our clients succeed. Our volunteers are invested in the success of the entrepreneurs with whom they have built lasting positive relationships. Partners and volunteers are also dedicated to an overall improvement of local food ecosystems, which only happens when volunteers, entrepreneurs, community organizations, and job seekers come together in a meaningful way.
If you are an entrepreneur interested in our program, we’d love to learn more about your business. Organizations and individuals who are interested in partnering with 4 Access Partners can also contact us to discuss potential volunteer opportunities.
Support for Women + BIPOC-Owned Companies
In recent years the pace and growth of new food items launched by small, high growth food companies has been remarkable, in many cases out-innovating large multi-national food organizations. This unprecedented growth has been enabled by substantial funding and networking support from numerous venture capital firms and strategic investors backing industry experienced, well-educated and privileged serial food entrepreneurs. Despite this phenomenal shift in food innovation, the number of scalable food brands launched by women and/or BIPOC led, local food start-ups have been far fewer than their more advantaged counterparts. We believe that this lower success frequency is driven by substantially less access to the critical capabilities, knowledge networks and growth capital that are essential in overcoming the challenges which any food business faces when advancing a novel concept into the marketplace. The objective of 4 Access Partners is to level the innovation playing field by connecting experienced food industry and related field professionals with promising, underrepresented food entrepreneurs, providing expertise and real-world experience to help develop and scale their businesses.
Similarly, while the recruitment and retention of new employees has been a food industry challenge in recent years, entry level access to good paying food industry careers has been particularly difficult to achieve for women and BIPOC individuals. An additional objective of 4 Access Partners is to provide an introductory food production and technology curriculum, including hands-on training, prepared and taught by experienced industry professionals to ready hard to employ, yet motivated individuals for long term roles at local food manufacturers.