the mandela entrepreneurs Program

The Mandela Entrepreneurs Program supports the launch and growth of community-based businesses by providing foundational business development support services that are culturally relevant and entrepreneur driven.


The Program is divided into two core components.

Defining Product / Concept

Brainstorm what you make/do best, and define your business’ value proposition, mission, and vision.

Pricing & Business Finance 

Develop better understanding of your business finances, variable & fixed costs, and product pricing.


Explore community marketing, branding, and social media tools that make sense for your business.

Customer Base Development 

Explore your customer base, and brainstorm sales channels.

Business Plan Development 

Using the Centro Business Planning App, develop and fine tune a short form business plan.

Legal Cafe

One-on-one legal advice sessions with pro-bono attorneys from the Sustainable Economies Law Center


The Mandela Entrepreneurs Workshop Series serves as the first rung in a ladder to entrepreneurship cultivation. The workshop series targets underserved entrepreneurs looking for ways to start, grow, or expand their businesses, and is provided in partnership with local community groups to ensure place-based connection, support, and accessibility. 

Food Safety

Learn the basics of food safety, and test for your CA Food Handler certification.

Space & Food Production

Learn the basics of Cottage Food vs. Commercial Kitchen production.

Labeling & Packaging

Learn about retail labeling requirements, and well as tools to research best packaging options. 

Recipe & Menu Development 

Explore your customer base, and brainstorm sales channels.

Professional Kitchens

Learn the basics of working in a shared kitchen or commercial kitchen as well as how to use equipment.


The opportunity to shadow a business owner and chef for a hands-on learning experience.


Workshop graduates gain access to One-on-One Advising, a vetted business development support network, and low-cost capital. Our one-on-one advising program serves limited-resource entrepreneurs looking to dive deeper into finalizing a business plan, developing financials and planned growth projections. Mandela also provides tailored support for launching or growing their food business. ​ 

Our advisors serve as a sounding board, accountability support, and long-term partner. Entrepreneurs who are accepted into Mandela's advising program gain access to bi-monthly advising sessions, with the intention readying them to take part in vetted sector specific business development or acceleration programs, and / or access to capital through Mandela's Community Capital programs. 

Stay updated on our events and programs

COntact us

(510) 433-0993

find us

1344 7th Street

Oakland, CA 94607

follow us

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon