New Upfield US “Plant Grants” Program Provides Funding, Education and Mentoring. First Year Supports Black-owned Restaurants
Upfield US announced a new grant program, Plant Grants, aimed at promoting plant-based eating through charitable funding, education, and mentorship. This first year is being sponsored by Violife®, an Upfield brand and portfolio of 100% vegan cheeses and spreads, in collaboration with legendary hip-hop artist and long-time vegan, RZA.
The 2021 Plant Grants program will focus on helping community-based Black-owned restaurants recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic recognizing that these businesses are often the economic and cultural centers of their communities.
The program will provide funding to support re-investment in the business, an introduction to plant-based ingredients, and coaching on menu development from two plant-based chef pioneers, Lemel Durrah and Laricia Chandler to inspire Black-owned restaurants to add more plant-based dishes to their menus or convert well-loved recipes to plant-based.
Kombucha King GT Dave Honors Pride Month with Funding for Future LGBTQ+ Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs
World’s Leading Kombucha Brand Launches New Summer Initiative ‘CommUNITY’
The Founder & CEO of GT’s Living Foods, GT Dave, announced today the Synergy Scholarship on behalf of new, non-profit entity, the GT Dave Foundation. The Synergy Scholarship fund is a $250,000 commitment awarded to LGBTQ+ youth pursuing entrepreneurial careers. The announcement of the Synergy Scholarship comes as part of a larger summer 2021 initiative, CommUNITY, celebrating three key pillars: uplifting diverse peoples, preservation of the planet, and accessibility to nutritious foods.
As a pioneer in the health and wellness movement and the creator of an iconic brand that has earned him the moniker “Kombucha King,” GT began his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 15 years old. Struggling with the woes of starting a business, GT was also growing up as a gay man and exploring his identity. Through strength and perseverance, he channeled his creativity and unique point of view into the company that today holds leading rank as the #1 kombucha brand in the world.
The Italian Food Company Seeks to Collaborate With Start-Ups on Addressing Sustainability, Technology and Consumer Challenges
BLU1877, Barilla’s Venture Group, announced its call for start-ups to participate in the fourth Good Food Makers global accelerator. The program, which launched in 2018 in collaboration with KitchenTown, a San Francisco-based incubator, selects a small group of young companies from around the world to work directly with Barilla teams in developing and implementing innovative business solutions. For this cohort, the global pasta leader has identified four specific challenges that reflect the trends, technologies, consumer behaviors and values that will shape the future of the food system:
- Circular Economy: solutions to upcycle three specific side streams — pasta regrind, wheat bran, and bread crust — in order to create a healthy, safe, and nutritious circular food system.
- Better Food Delivery: creative solutions in preparation, delivery logistics, automation, packaging, recipe development, and more to deliver high-quality meal experiences – in particular for pasta – through new restaurant and delivery channels.
- Digital Nutrition Guides: digital platforms to co-develop transparent, honest and accurate guides for nutrition, well-being, sustainability, or even just what to put in your shopping cart.
- Easy Meal Routines: better-for-you meal services, kits, or products to meet busy eaters where they are without sacrificing on nutrition or sustainability.
Small business debt is rising even as reopening expands. SF New Deal expands its outreach and launches debt relief program to provide $2500 grants to 400 San Francisco businesses.
SF New Deal is launching a micro-grant program to distribute $1,000,000 to small businesses in San Francisco, many of whom are struggling with debt even as post-covid reopening expands. In order to support small businesses and strengthen local communities, SF New Deal is providing grants of $2,500 to 400 small businesses.
A March 2021 SF New Deal survey of San Francisco restaurants found that the number of restaurants facing debt, as well as the amount of debt, has increased significantly. 60% of restaurants are currently in debt, compared to 34% in March 2020, the start of the first shelter-in-place order. On average, debt nearly doubled, increasing from $62,000 to $114,000.
Launch of Fund Coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the Destruction of Black Wall Street
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, the fastest-growing American whiskey brand in U.S. history and the most-awarded Bourbon of 2019 and 2020 worldwide, announced the formation of the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund. The $50 million fund was created specifically to invest in rapidly growing, minority-founded and owned spirit brands. According to Fawn Weaver, Uncle Nearest founder and CEO, it’s by design that the timing of the announcement comes on the 100th anniversary of the destruction of Black Wall Street.
“On June 1, 1921, an entire community of wealthy and successful African Americans was wiped out in a matter of hours. We are talking about 35 square blocks known as Black Wall Street,” said Weaver. “As an African American, learning about that history broke my heart because we, as a people, were really onto something in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We were lifting one another up and creating wealth within our own community, and then showing others how to do it for themselves. We cannot go back and undo the past, but I do believe we have full power over our future, and that recreating a Black Wall Street of sorts within the spirits industry is a great place to start.”