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Downtown Farmers’ Market announces return of incubator program for underrepresented small businesses


The Downtown Farmers’ Market will bring back its incubator program to support underrepresented founders of small businesses and startups during its 2023 season. The program’s goal is to improve “access and economic growth for local small, minority and historically disenfranchised businesses across Greater Des Moines,” according to a news release.

New this year, vendors interested in participating in the incubator program are encouraged to participate in the small business boot camp at the Evelyn K. Davis Center. The next boot camp offered will begin on Monday, Feb. 6. The boot camp will run for three consecutive Mondays on Feb. 6, 13 and 20 from 12 to 3 p.m., in person at the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families at 1171 Seventh St., Des Moines. Registration for the boot camp is available online.

Applicants of the incubator program must be new to the market and meet one of the following requirements:

• Have been in business for two to four years.
• Have between $40,000 and $90,000 in demonstrated annual sales.
• Have participated in the boot camp.

To participate in the incubator program, a business must be owned, operated and actively managed by one or more persons who fall into one or more of the following categories: historically underrepresented and underserved groups including communities of color, women, people with disabilities, disabled veterans or LGBTQ+. Businesses must also sell locally grown or handmade items.

To receive information about applying, fill out this form. Interested parties can contact Megan Renkel, Downtown Farmers’ Market manager, at mrenkel@downtowndsmusa.com for more information about how to qualify. More information about the Evelyn K. Davis boot camp is available by contacting Curtis Baugh at gcbaugh@dmacc.edu.

The Downtown Farmers’ Market opening day will be Saturday, May 6.

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