The Rural Food Business Assistance Project supports current and aspiring entrepreneurs that are farmers, value-added processors, and food service businesses in order to stimulate successful and thriving agribusinesses across rural North Carolina.
WHAT DOES THE RURAL FOOD BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROJECT OFFER?
- Training scholarships for farm or food business development classes and other relevant trainings to increase your knowledge base and teach you tools for successfully developing and operating your business.
- Assessment of your entrepreneurial skills and readiness so you know your strengths and areas for improvement.
- Connections to a regional food business support network made up of stakeholders who support you and your business in the months and years to come.
- Business coaching with a coach to help you navigate how to start or grow your business, with advice and support at each step. Your coach will also link you to the best available local, regional and state level resources.
- Access to capital so you can start or grow your farm, food, or agribusiness. Your coach will help you through the loan application process with the Rural Center’s MLP, a USDA IRP lender, or other capital providers in your area.
WHERE IS THIS PROJECT AVAILABLE?
The Rural Food Business Assistance Project focuses on three rural North Carolina regions:
- Western Region: Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties.
- Sandhills Region: Hoke, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Robeson and Scotland counties.
- Upper Coastal Plain Region: Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton and Wilson counties.
Coaching will be delivered by phone, e-mail, and online. Training will be delivered online or in a classroom. In addition, Face-to-Face business counseling will be available through a network of partnering organizations, including the Small Business Center of the North Carolina Community College System.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The target market for this project includes current or future farmers, agribusinesses, value-added processors, distributors, food services and restaurants. To be eligible, you must:
- Commit to starting (or growing) a farm or food business in a rural county in North Carolina
- Have access to a phone, a computer, and the Internet
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Click here to start your application.