The Food Business Pathways Program is designed exclusively for NYCHA residents who want to start or grow food businesses. After 11 weeks of business education, the program provides funding for the participants’ entity formation and food handler licenses, and awards five months of free incubator space to four participants from each cohort. To date, 167 food entrepeneurs have graduated from the Food Business Pathways Programs. This summer, 12 of the Food Business Pathways graduates were accepted as participants in the 2017 SummerStage Festival. The graduates make up 63 percent of the food vendors at SummerStage concert venues (excluding Central Park) and are selling at 98 concerts throughout the summer. SummerStage estimates 130,000 people will attend those concerts and that the average attendance per concert will be more than 1,300 people. 

“The Food Business Pathways program empowers budding food entrepreneurs and connects them with the tools they need to succeed,” said Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “We are proud to partner with the New York City Housing Authority and its residents to provide business training and support that is helping these entrepreneurs reach their full potential.”

Cohort 7 began Aug. 7 and will finish Oct. 23. Cohort 8 will likely begin in April 2018. Food Business Pathways Program will start recruitment in January/February 2018. Visit for more information.