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World Central Kitchen opens free business workshops for food producers

Starting this week, food producers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and The Bahamas will have the opportunity to take free business workshops through World Central Kitchen’s Food Business Bootcamp, the nonprofit announced.

The trainings will take place online once a week for food-related small businesses, such as farmers, fishers, and other food business. They are adapted to include the most relevant topics for developing food businesses including marketing, operations, finance, growth opportunities and digital marketing with e-commerce.

The bootcamp is the result of a collaboration with the learning platform INprende and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development business grants program. The webinars will take place on Oct. 14, 22 and 28, Nov. 5 and 12 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m via Zoom.  

This Food Business Bootcamp is part of WCK’s initiatives to increase the business and productive capacity of food producers across the Caribbean.

“In 2019, we offered more than 780 learning hours to food producers, but since March of this year we have offered more than 1200 learning hours,” said Mikol Hoffman, director of the WCK’s Food Producer Network. 

“We’ve seen participation in these specialized workshops increasing as more participants leave with useful tools for their business,” he said.

This program aims to strengthen Caribbean food systems and reduce dependence on food imports by supporting local food production, and one of the strategies is to invest in formal training for small and medium food producers so that they can maximize their efforts and grow their businesses.

Meanwhile, Josué E. Rivera, State director of the Rural Development office in Puerto Rico, said the agency awarded a $63,450 grant to provide technical assistance to more than 320 participants who will in turn strengthen their business capabilities and commercial execution strategies to be more effective in their production.

“We continue the initiative to strengthen the workforce and businesses to boost the recovery in this economic sector,” Rivera said.

For more information on the Food Business Bootcamp, or to reserve a spot for one or more of the webinars, send an email to usvi@wck.org (for the U.S. Virgin Islands) or bahamas@wck.org (for The Bahamas) or sign up via Facebook.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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