Business and Society Institute Programs

Meaningful Change Purposeful Action

We put research into action through innovative programs that create better markets and stronger communities both here in Atlanta and globally.

Our Programs

With 1-4 employees, microbusinesses may be individually small, but collectively create a big impact accounting for 7 million U.S. jobs and more than $350 billion in total payroll. When successful, microbusinesses generate income for entrepreneurs and their families while at the same time build neighborhood vitality. 

Start:ME Accelerator Program

Start:ME is an intensive 3-month accelerator program that provides the most promising micro-entrepreneurs (those starting businesses with 1-4 employees) in traditionally underserved metro Atlanta communities business training, mentorship support, and early-stage financing needed to start and / or grow thriving businesses.

Start:ME works in Clarkston, the East Lake-Kirkwood, and Historic South Atlanta communities. The program conducts sessions weekly each spring (January through April) working with 15-18 promising micro-entrepreneurs in each community along with year-round alumni support activities. The program is delivered by the Goizueta Business School with lead community partners Friends of Refugees, East Lake Foundation, Focused Community Strategies (FCS), and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta.

More about Start:ME

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Start:ME 2023 Impact Report


Microbusinesses, Macro Impact

We served 44 new ventures in three communities in 2023 growing our portfolio of total small businesses served to 395. Read more about Start:ME and its impact.

Good Troublemakers Unite


IU-Kelley Takes Top Prize at JLCC23

Team “Café con Leche” from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business earned the top prize at John R. Lewis Racial Justice Competition (JLCC) for their “Ringing the Bell” strategy, a three-pronged plan designed to help sponsor organization Taco Bell achieve a more diverse supplier base with a goal of 10 percent disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) spend.

2023 Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide


Creating New, Better, Transparent Benchmarks

Our specialty coffee research team led by Professor Peter Roberts released the 2023 edition of the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide (SCTG) featuring data from 115 companies summarizing more than 53,000 contracts representing almost 1 billion pounds of green specialty coffee valued at almost $2.5 billion.

Guide is FREE to download in English and Espanol.

Grounds for Empowerment (Virtual) Experience

GFE Cupping

Balancing the Scale of Financial Equity

Grounds for Empowerment (GFE), one of our flagship specialty coffee program led by Peter Roberts and Giselle Barrera, demonstrates the best of both connecting women specialty coffee farmers in Latin America with trained business school students and experienced industry mentors to advance genuine, equitable economic opportunities. New article in explores how virtual program is impacting farmers and students.

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