We put research into practice through innovative programs that inject knowledge, networks and capital to create better markets and stronger communities both here in Atlanta's neighborhoods through Start:ME and in coffee country through a collection of innovative specialty coffee programs.
Start:Me Accelerator Program
Start Micro-Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (Start:ME) is an intensive 14-week accelerator program that provides the most promising micro-entrepreneurs (those starting businesses with 1-4 employees) in marginalized metro Atlanta communities business training, mentorship support and early-stage financing needed to develop their businesses. When successful, these businesses generate income for entrepreneurs and their families while at the same time build neighborhood vitality.
Start:ME has been working in the Clarkston community since 2013 and launched in Atlanta's East Lake neighborhood in 2015. The program conducts sessions weekly each spring (January through April) working with 15-18 promising micro-entrepreneurs in each community. The program is delivered by several lead community partners including Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), Friends of Refugees and East Lake Foundation. Other local partners include the Clarkston Community Center, East Lake Neighborhood Community Association (ELNCA), PNC Bank and Northern Trust.Read More
Transparent Trade Coffee
Transparent Trade Coffee (TTC) provides is an online platform where coffee consumers and direct trade roasters come together to share information and insights about the economic treatment of coffee growers. Roasters -- who voluntarily provide timely information to the market about their green specialty coffee prices -- are registered on the TTC site on a rolling basis. TTC is home to the new Specialty Coffee Retail Price Index (SCRPI), which consistently tracks roasted coffee prices from Blue Chip Roasters on a quarterly basis. TTC Insights, data driven, research blogs written by SE@G's Peter Roberts, are also published on the site.Read More
Farmers to 40
Farmers to 40 is a social enterprise that encourages sustainable economic development within the coffee-growing communities of Nicaragua with a direct trade model that adequately compensates farmers for the time, skill and effort required to produce coffee beans of the highest quality. Farmers to 40 sells excellent coffee to consumers while returning 40% of the retail sale price to our Nicaraguan partner farmers who grow the beans.Read More
Grounds for Empowerment
Under the Farmers to 40 umbrella, The Grounds for Empowerment (GFE) program provides promising women specialty coffee growers from Latin America the business know-how, market connections and investment funds to reach their full economic potential. The program works with small cohorts of women growers from Latin America over a three year period which includes onsite training at Emory along with special sessions at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's (SCAA) annual conference. The program is funded in part through the sale of the participating growers' coffee through the Farmers to 40 network (40% of the retail price allocated to support program experiences and travel).Read More
Nicaragua Community Health Connection
Nicaragua Community Health Connection (NCHC) works to accelerate improved health outcomes in the isolated, rural coffee community of Los Robles, Nicaragua, and neighboring areas. The program, which includes a full-functioning health center, is conducted in collaboration with the residents of Los Robles, a growing number of North American universities, and NGO operating partner Comunidad Connect.
NCHC leverages the Los Robles Coffee Project to fund the operations of the health center through sales of coffee to offices, places of worship and community organizations in the U.S.Read More