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Syrian food market stall

About the Program

Food business owner getting photographed

Learn, make, grow, sell.

FoodLab Sydney's incubator program helps entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds formalise and grow their food businesses. We walk alongside you to make your dream a reality. The program works in four stages - read below to find out more.

1. Application

FoodLab's program has limited places but opens registration throughout the year in order to work with participants on their applications. Qualified applicants must submit a completed application before being considered in the program. 

Please visit our application page for more information.

African Food
Entrepreneurs in a workshop

2. Pre-incubation

A 12-month period where entrepreneurs receive:

  • affordable kitchen space - access to our new state-of-the-art shared kitchen, including storage and office facilities. Rates start at $12.50 per hour for kitchen hire.

  • technical assistance workshops that fast track business growth covering finance, marketing, operations and product.

  • one-on-one mentoring with a successful business owner that is excited to join entrepreneurs and support their journeys

  • connections to skilled support from accounting, logo design, food photography and more. 

3. Incubation

Once the foundations have been laid, FoodLab supports entrepreneurs with ongoing affordable kitchen space and office facilities, ongoing training and connections, discounted suppliers, and market opportunities. 

FoodLab is building connections with corporates, government and boutique retailers to develop sales opportunities for entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and grow sustainable revenue streams. 

Entrepreneur in a food truck


The FoodLab Sydney program is limited to qualified businesses who go through the application process. FoodLab Sydney screens applicants for the following:

Background and Barriers to Entry

Our mission at FoodLab is to support entrepreneurs facing high barriers to entry to foster a more inclusive food system focused on gender, ethnic and racial equity. We work primarily with those from low-income backgrounds, migrants, refugees, women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or others who are socio-economically vulnerable. 

Local to Sydney

We want to build on the beautiful good food system in Sydney that is already thriving, so we only accept those who reside in the greater Sydney region. We welcome those in the Illawarra, Blue Mountains, and Hawkesbury regions, but you must be prepared to travel to Sydney to attend workshops. 

Business Ready

You must apply to FoodLab Sydney with a food business idea ready to put into action, at the very least. You can of course refine it during the program, but if you do not have a business plan or an existing business, you will need to get to work on selling and proving your concept right away!

Entrepreneurial and Community Minded

Growing a food business is incredibly hard work! The food industry is extremely competitive, so entrepreneurs need to have a lot of passion, motivation and determination. Our program brings together a number of entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, so we are also looking for those who are community-oriented, generous and willing to learn, help and work with others. 

Migrant chef in an affordable kitchen space

4. Graduation

Participants who have reached all the required incubation benchmarks set in the program graduate and remain part of the network as FoodLab alumni. FoodLab helps these participants find their own kitchen spaces in Sydney.

FoodLab has been my biggest support

to date. It is because of FoodLab that I

keep going, I have had more confidence

and happiness than ever.

I am now an independent business woman, starting my own market stall and catering with Malaysian recipes that I learned from my father.  

Malar, Founder of Sangee's Kitchen

I run a food business that teaches Australians about African culture and cuisine. Getting to meet others in the food industry who share that passion for food is something I haven’t experienced before.


I’m really excited to finally showcase a brand that I am proud of because I just didn’t have the connections to do it myself."

Alick, Founder of African Food Feasts

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