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Partner Spotlight: WE Power Food

As part of our ‘Partner Spotlight’ series, we introduce our 2022 ECOSYSTEM partner, WE Power Food. Dedicated to empowering women in the food industry, WE Power Food is a visionary initiative led by women, for women. Their mission is to develop targeted resources and support networks to benefit women in the food business.  

 


Describe your organization in 25 words or less.

WE Power Food is a non-profit that supports and offers resources for women in the food industry.

How does your organization support entrepreneurs?

WE Power Food has created a network of women entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each brings a unique knowledge of their personal journey to share with others. This collective knowledge elevates women who are perhaps just beginning their entrepreneurial quest and sustains those who have achieved success. The women in between those bookends benefit significantly as we offer avenues of solutions for their business goals. WE Power Food facilitates meetings and encourages introductions within our membership, meaning our entrepreneurs have unlimited resources available through numerous channels. Our goal is to alleviate barriers women may experience as they create their brand and to guide them as they reach, then re-set their goals. We also provide guidance with regulations, inspections, and requirements each entrepreneur may encounter. Our library of contacts for support agencies is always expanding and our members can access us at any time to ask for assistance.

What is the biggest challenge your organization is currently facing?

     Membership Meeting Presentation

We are always looking forward and our biggest challenge is sustainability. We have numerous ideas for fund-raising, such as a membership platform, specific events and expanding our reach to grow our membership. We plan to lay those out in detail very soon internally so we can make decisions about repeat fund-raising (annual events, etc.) and unique events throughout the year. We want to incorporate sponsorships from corporations and private/public foundations so that we can continue our missions. We also need to find more funding through Grants. We feel our model is unique and there must certainly be applicable funding – we simply need to learn where it is. Our large picture need is a mentor or sustainability partner to guide us to the next funding arenas.

Where do you see your organization in 5 years?

WE Power Food has a large goal to find funding that will allow us to build our own commercial kitchen facility. This facility would be for the women WE Power supports as well as the women who support WE Power. Ideally, we would like to purchase land, and own the building that is constructed. Allowing us to be a self-sufficient kitchen with no threat of us losing a lease, being over-taken by another entity, governed by another entity, or needing to worry about increased costs associated with leasing. If we can identify grant sources to provide the amount needed to achieve this, we believe our model is not only necessary to support women in the food industry but is also attractive to grantors as we fill a very unque need and seem to be the only organization doing such specific work. Five years might be lofty, but we believe in what we are providing to our members and want to identify grants who will believe in us as well.

WE Power Food has goals to take our program nationwide. We want to have Chapters available to women across America. Not only would this be an incredible step for us to offer our support and services to women everywhere across the nation, but it would add an income source through Chapter dues as well as each Chapter’s membership dues, of which a percentage would be a line-item as a national due. Once again, five years might be a lofty time frame to get this model accomplished in all states, but we can at least start-getting-started. North Carolina will be home base. Chapters would meet annually to have a convention that changes locations each year to bring women together with speakers, presentations, motivation, encouragement, and most of all stories from the heart about many journeys. Annual Empowerment Celebrations will be yet another sustainability avenue.

Who benefits from your organization’s work?

Members of W.P.F at Flavors of Carolina Show

Women at all levels, from entry to success in their food business are nurtured by WE Power. WE Power Food benefits women who are beginning their entrepreneurial journey by providing resources and services that can make their process more efficient and reduce the stress often associated with beginning a new venture. We offer contacts in numerous agency partners who counsel and guide new food producers to ensure the entrepreneur is in compliance on many levels (regulatory, labeling, insurance, etc.). Additionally, women who are established in their food business continue to realize those same benefits in addition to growing strong relationships and building community. Our members support each other and celebrate victories together. They collaborate and expand their business model through the networks we provide. We, as an organization, benefit from the wealth of knowledge and lived-experiences our members share. We incorporate those pieces into monthly membership meetings that prompt lively and in-depth discussions.

Published April 16, 2024
Submission Provided by: Kat McGee (Program Coordinator)

As part of our ‘Partner Spotlight’ series, we introduce our 2022 ECOSYSTEM partner, WE Power Food. Dedicated to empowering women in the food industry, WE Power Food is a visionary initiative led by women, for women. Their mission is to develop targeted resources and support networks to benefit women in the food business.  

Describe your organization in 25 words or less.

WE Power Food is a non-profit that supports and offers resources for women in the food industry.

How does your organization support entrepreneurs?

WE Power Food has created a network of women entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each brings a unique knowledge of their personal journey to share with others. This collective knowledge elevates women who are perhaps just beginning their entrepreneurial quest and sustains those who have achieved success. The women in between those bookends benefit significantly as we offer avenues of solutions for their business goals. WE Power Food facilitates meetings and encourages introductions within our membership, meaning our entrepreneurs have unlimited resources available through numerous channels. Our goal is to alleviate barriers women may experience as they create their brand and to guide them as they reach, then re-set their goals. We also provide guidance with regulations, inspections, and requirements each entrepreneur may encounter. Our library of contacts for support agencies is always expanding and our members can access us at any time to ask for assistance.

What is the biggest challenge your organization is currently facing?

    Membership Meeting Presentation

We are always looking forward and our biggest challenge is sustainability. We have numerous ideas for fund-raising, such as a membership platform, specific events and expanding our reach to grow our membership. We plan to lay those out in detail very soon internally so we can make decisions about repeat fund-raising (annual events, etc.) and unique events throughout the year. We want to incorporate sponsorships from corporations and private/public foundations so that we can continue our missions. We also need to find more funding through Grants. We feel our model is unique and there must certainly be applicable funding – we simply need to learn where it is. Our large picture need is a mentor or sustainability partner to guide us to the next funding arenas.

Where do you see your organization in 5 years?

WE Power Food has a large goal to find funding that will allow us to build our own commercial kitchen facility. This facility would be for the women WE Power supports as well as the women who support WE Power. Ideally, we would like to purchase land, and own the building that is constructed. Allowing us to be a self-sufficient kitchen with no threat of us losing a lease, being over-taken by another entity, governed by another entity, or needing to worry about increased costs associated with leasing. If we can identify grant sources to provide the amount needed to achieve this, we believe our model is not only necessary to support women in the food industry but is also attractive to grantors as we fill a very unque need and seem to be the only organization doing such specific work. Five years might be lofty, but we believe in what we are providing to our members and want to identify grants who will believe in us as well.

WE Power Food has goals to take our program nationwide. We want to have Chapters available to women across America. Not only would this be an incredible step for us to offer our support and services to women everywhere across the nation, but it would add an income source through Chapter dues as well as each Chapter’s membership dues, of which a percentage would be a line-item as a national due. Once again, five years might be a lofty time frame to get this model accomplished in all states, but we can at least start-getting-started. North Carolina will be home base. Chapters would meet annually to have a convention that changes locations each year to bring women together with speakers, presentations, motivation, encouragement, and most of all stories from the heart about many journeys. Annual Empowerment Celebrations will be yet another sustainability avenue.

Who benefits from your organization’s work?

Members of W.P.F at Flavors of Carolina Show

Women at all levels, from entry to success in their food business are nurtured by WE Power. WE Power Food benefits women who are beginning their entrepreneurial journey by providing resources and services that can make their process more efficient and reduce the stress often associated with beginning a new venture. We offer contacts in numerous agency partners who counsel and guide new food producers to ensure the entrepreneur is in compliance on many levels (regulatory, labeling, insurance, etc.). Additionally, women who are established in their food business continue to realize those same benefits in addition to growing strong relationships and building community. Our members support each other and celebrate victories together. They collaborate and expand their business model through the networks we provide. We, as an organization, benefit from the wealth of knowledge and lived-experiences our members share. We incorporate those pieces into monthly membership meetings that prompt lively and in-depth discussions.

Published April 16, 2024
Submission Provided by: Kat McGee (Program Coordinator)