Over the past decade, food business incubators in Massachusetts have served as valuable resources to encourage the startup and success of food enterprises in this growing industry. Incubators have supported a range of food businesses, including food trucks, caterers, and specialty food producers. Offering shared-use kitchen rental and business technical assistance services, food business incubators provide entrepreneurs with resources and services at reasonable rates in a collaborative environment. Doing so decreases the risks and capital requirements that typically come with establishing businesses independently, giving them a greater chance of success.
By fostering business growth, food business incubators support a range of businesses that can create jobs and benefit the local economy. With a significant number of start-ups committed to providing additional social benefits, food business incubators often also have a hand in supporting businesses that are improving food access, supporting farms and the fishing industry through sourcing local ingredients, and employing practices that are environmentally sustainable. They also contribute to community wealth-building, providing advancement for residents who otherwise lack opportunities.
As the food manufacturing industry continues to grow, incubators can play an important role in supporting project development and growth. Often established as nonprofit enterprises, and supporting businesses that are considered ‘high-risk’ with small profit margins, the sustainability and success of food business incubators is reliant upon additional investment. Public funding commitments and private investment will help ensure that ongoing efforts continue and new incubators can develop to meet food enterprise needs.