In November 2011, the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin, Inc. (UEDA) hosted their 10th Annual Community Development Summit, “Food For Thought: New Recipes for Job Growth.” It drew approximately 195 participants and explored strategies to grow the local food economy and create related jobs. Subsequently, over 20 local organizational leaders have formed the Food Enterprise Development Network (FEDN).
FEDN’s mission is to promote equitable, economic development in urban communities by helping develop and support a robust, cross-sector support network that assists micro-level food entrepreneurs and businesses in Milwaukee neighborhoods and commercial corridors.
Current Focus Areas
- Connecting neighborhood-based, micro-level food entrepreneurs to resources that can help them launch or grow their food enterprise;
- Development of a tool that will assist food entrepreneurs to navigate the licensing and permitting process associated with food productions and sales;
- Establishing a strategy and the necessary partnerships needed to secure affordable kitchen/processing space as food entrepreneurs are just starting out.
Current FEDN Participants
City of Milwaukee Department of City Development, Forward Community Investments (FCI), Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Mighty Fine Foods LLC, Milwaukee Food Council, Milwaukee Northside Food Network, Outpost Natural Foods, That Salsa Lady, UW-Extension Community & Regional Food Systems Project, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC)