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How it all began 

Founded in West Oakland, California, Mandela Partners was established to fill a gap that was created through deeply rooted inequities–a challenging local food environment, a legacy of redlining and economic disinvestment, and barriers to opportunities for entrepreneurs. In response, Mandela Partners supported the development of a community-directed plan that respected community members' ability to identify local needs, and uplift community assets.
A holistic and innovative set of strategies were seeded: a community-owned grocery store, increased healthy food access points, connections to local farmers, support for local entrepreneurs, and culturally relevant wellness education.

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What we're up to today...

18+ years later, Mandela Partners continues to build on the community plan that seeded our work, driving equitable, people-centered, community development strategies. We do this by braiding together several strands of work:

Supporting the launch and growth of local food enterprises

Increasing access to healthy food options

Building skills and capacity of local BIPOC entrepreneurs

Strengthening income generation among small sustainable farmers 

Facilitating access to community capital


“Mandela Partners helped remove my fear of starting a business as an immigrant. They help you navigate processes about running a business that you don’t know.” 
-Diana Ramirez Jasso, Owner of YoYo Treats

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