The Roberto C. Goizueta

Business and Society Institute Programs

Meaningful Change Requires 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 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.

Start:ME has been working in the Clarkston community since 2013, expanded to Atlanta's East Lake neighborhood in 2015, and most recently launched in the Southside neighborhood in 2018. 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 Goizueta Business School with lead community partners Friends of Refugees, East Lake Foundation, Focused Community Strategies (FCS), and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta. The program has served 257 ventures, 84% of which are owned by people of color. 

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Start:ME Cohorts Shine Bright


45 Small Businesses Graduate Program; $30K in Seed Investments

Congrats to the 45 promising small businesses that graduated our 2021 Start:ME Accelerator, a free, intensive three month business training program for promising ventures in the metro-Atlanta communities of East Lake, Clarkston and Southside Atlanta. Based on peer and mentor ratings, 16 ventures were selected to receive seed investment grants totaling $30K.

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.

2020 Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide


Creating New, Better, Transparent Benchmarks

Professor Peter Roberts and our Transparent Trade Coffee Team have recently released the 2020 Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide. The Guide summarizes anonymized data from more than 50,000 green coffee purchasing contracts from 81 data donors totally $2.1B which include roasters, importers, exporters cooperatives and producers. Transparent Trade is reimagining the way that specialty coffee markets work to improve the economic treatment of coffee growers and their communities.

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