City of Phoenix Offers Food Business Training for Entrepreneurs

City of Phoenix

Through a partnership with Thrive Consultancy, Inc., the city of Phoenix’s Office of Environmental Programs (OEP) is excited to offer a special training program for potential and current food business owners. Applications are open through Feb. 1 for the 10-week Sustainable Cooperative Food Business Training Program, which will build your skills and confidence for starting (or joining) a worker-owned business in the local food economy.

“We are teaching Phoenix entrepreneurs how to use the cooperative model to make businesses that work for the owners, the community, and the planet,” said Hanna Layton, Founder and Director of Thrive.

Thrive is an Arizona benefit corporation that is working to empower more equitable and sustainable economies in Arizona. The city of Phoenix is funding the upcoming spring cohort, which runs from Feb. 24 to April 28, 2022, for up to 25 applicants. Participants will learn how worker-cooperatives, or businesses owned and run by their employees, can increase profits while caring for the environment. They’ll also have classes on business planning, group decision-making, budgeting, marketing, financing, and more.

“The cooperative businesses model has proven to be more sustainable and resilient than conventional business forms. Phoenix is committed to building forward by sponsoring cooperative business development with a focus on fostering sustainable, cooperative food businesses,” Layton said.

Last year, the city of Phoenix sponsored a training program for veterans, which resulted in three different business ventures.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Thrive and the Arizona State University Sustainable Food Economy Lab as we expand the program citywide,” said Food Systems Program Manager Joseph Rossell. “Residents will have an opportunity to become a key part of a new, major wave of sustainable cooperative food businesses starting up in Phoenix. By investing in those residents, the city joins a small group of municipalities across the country who are actively working to cultivate a cooperative city.”

Training sessions will be held in downtown Phoenix each Thursday from 4pm to 7pm with virtual options available. While there is no charge for accepted participants, they are required to commit to full participation and completion of the program. The application deadline is February 1, 2022.
Learn more about the program and start your application HERE​.

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