BUSINESS ASSISTANCE AND MICRO-LENDING
A kitchen incubator’s success is inherently tied to the success of its member entrepreneurs. However, one of the most common challenges is that entrepreneurs are passionate about cooking, but ill-prepared for business. Additionally, many entrepreneurs lack the financial resources to invest in scaling their business. For this reason, incubators should invest heavily in small business support services, including business technical assistance, help with recipe scaling, cost-saving through bulk purchasing of ingredients, assistance with distribution, and assistance with obtaining sales venues. Incubators should also establish relationships with third party organizations like small business development centers and banking institutions, especially CDFIs with a micro-finance focus, in order to provide access to affordable capital for their users. Some geographies have grand and revolving loan programs for culinary entrepreneurs. It is important for the incubator to see its success through the lens of the success of its users, and invest in the supportive infrastructure its users need to be successful.