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Our purpose is to create equal opportunity for all food entrepreneurs, regardless of their background. 

Our story is about support and empowerment. Let's talk about the impact that we have had so far.

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"On Monday I start work as a pastry chef. 

I am very happy and excited. I want to thank FoodLab for everything. FoodLab has helped me get this job because of the good training and mentoring I have found here. 

 

I have been working in a job for a long time that I have not liked but not confident enough in English to pursue my dream as a pastry chef. This program has helped me move closer to this step. Thank you for the mentoring."

- Yong, Pastry Chef at Wholegreen Bakery

Our Alumni

72

Entrepreneurs graduated since 2019.

64%

Gaining further training, volunteer or employment experience in an existing food business.

45

Are continuing to experiment on their MVP, make regular sales or are scaling up.

1500+

Network opportunities and connections made between entrepreneurs and industry.

We recognise that food businesses are not born overnight. In fact, most food businesses fail because entrepreneurs are not adequately trained, supported or experienced in their niche before launching. That is why we focus on ensuring our entrepreneurs find work experience to become experts before committing to large expenses such as equipment, rent, or supplier contracts.

"FoodLab has been the best course I’ve ever done and I am so happy to have been a part of Cohort 5. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!"

Melissa, Founder of Veggie Table

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A part of a bigger community

10+

educational institutions across NSW are providing support and resources to our programs

30+

consultants, advisors and coaches part of the FoodLab fabric

85+

existing food business owners in Sydney are supporting our entrepreneurs

120+

community organisations working alongside FoodLab to create social change together

Grounded in Academic Research

FoodLab Sydney is a University-supported incubator that takes an evidence-based approach to measuring the social change of our participants and our food system. 

 

Our rigorous program evaluation methods are carried out by academic researchers who measure a number of different impact areas through multiple data collection points. These include:

  • Opportunities for participants from vulnerable communities to develop vocational and business skills and to build strong networks.

  • Improved capacity of participants to develop and maintain successful business ventures or employment within the food industry.

  • The enhancement of a local ecosystem of (good food) food-based businesses.

  • Increased food security in the local government area.

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Key Findings

Through a wide mix of innovative and diverse methods including baseline surveys, entrance interviews, progress interviews, network tracker data, formal and informal check-ins, and participant observation, we have already identified a number of successful fundings.

Confidence to be a part of the local food system

“Networking was not my cup of tea. But now, I can tell you, yes, it is my cup of tea. I talk to people, if I need something I can walk into a council office or I can walk in anywhere and be like, ‘hey, I need this, what do I need to do?’”

Development of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

“Everybody has an interest in food and everybody is tackling [it] in a different way, and everyone wants to get stronger but not everybody’s ideas need [or] require the same infrastructure or the same knowledge."

Resonance within and beyond local food community

"I’m always wondering how I can get food out there and communicate more with my local community for food security. So I thought, ‘Here’s an organisation presenting support, mentorship, resources, in this environment, and it would be really, really great to connect to a larger organisation that has that support structure already in place."


Vibrant networks of Mutual Aid and Care

"I was interested in food. I was working in hospitality and that. And then, I don’t know, I just wanted to give back to people who was going in the – the life that I had and wanted to give people some knowledge and be there for other people who were having troubles in their life.”


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Become a part of the FoodLab Sydney community today.
Program Supporters
Sydney Environment Institute
City of Sydney
USU