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.
Where we are 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