At Can-Do Kalamazoo, we work with entrepreneurs and small business owners at different stages. Whether you want to turn your idea into a business, scale up your existing business to reach new markets and opportunities, or give back to early-stage entrepreneurs through mentoring, we are here to walk the path with you.
What We Do
Activating inclusive programs, resources, and physical space to support our community’s diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Our long-term vision is that all entrepreneurs will have a pathway toward business success that is clear, equitable, and attainable.
How We Support Entrepreneurs
Food Business Support
- Food Licensing Guidance – We have years of experience navigating the licensing world, good relationships with local licensing agents, and provide food safety guidance while we help you get your own license.
- Labeling – Through our knowledge of legal requirements, we are able to provide guidance and resources to help you develop a professional label for your product.
- Pricing and Finding Customers – Can-Do Kalamazoo has positive relationships with local retailers and we will provide you with valuable resource lists and connections to local distributors.
- Sourcing Ingredients and Packaging Guidance and Connections – Food business members of the Can-Do Kitchen have access to wholesale ordering, several resource lists, and guidance through meetings with our staff.
Essential Support for All Industries
- Business Entity, Structure, & Insurance – We provide resource lists, tips, and referrals to help you through this process.
- Business Planning and Startup Planning – Our partnerships with professional business counselors, funders and experience working with several businesses make it possible for us to guide you through this process.
- Brand Identity Development & Online Marketing Guidance – We have partnerships and connections with graphic design & marketing companies and provide you with those resources.
Accessible Business Support
- Translation Services – We offer both written and verbal translation services to our members that are more comfortable navigating the challenges of starting a food business in their native languages.
- Partnership with El Concilio – Inclusiveness is important to us. Our partnership with El Concilio helps us give Latinx entrepreneurs the support they need.
- Sliding Scale Membership – When we move to our new building, we will share a membership structure that includes coworking space and business support.
- Reduced kitchen rental rates program – BIPOC, women, and LGBTQAI+ entrepreneurs who are also experiencing low incomes are eligible for our program that starts at a deep discount and gradually increases to our regular rates.
2021 Annual Report
In 2021 we reached new heights with our expansion to Can-Do Kalamazoo and hit many milestones along the way. We celebrated 17 new business launches. All of them are proudly women-owned, minority-owned, LGBTQIA+ or immigrant-owned businesses. We’ve also launched a microloan program and assisted 26 businesses with financing! 26 people completed Can-Do Camp and almost all launched their own food business. Two businesses graduated from our incubator. We’ve also reached most of our funding goal and are all set to start construction on a new location. To see more of what’s cooking for Can-Do Kalamazoo read our annual report.
Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
Business ownership is an important pathway to building family wealth that can be passed to subsequent generations. However, not all entrepreneurs have the same opportunities to own businesses. Starting a business forces entrepreneurs to work within systems that have been used to hinder people who are at the margins of the power structures, are under-resourced because of living in a disinvested community, or are dismissed due to racial, ethnic, or gender identity. Our role is to help disrupt these systems and create equitable tools and models. We will continue working to ensure that BIPOC, Immigrant, LGBTQAI+, and other marginalized entrepreneurs have equitable opportunities to build and sustain businesses that can support families and generate wealth.
Can-Do Kalamazoo (formerly Can-Do Kitchen) began in 2008 as a shared commercial kitchen space in response to a growing demand for locally made products. Soon we were helping people with every aspect of running a food business and became an incubator. After 14 years of learning and improving, we’ve transitioned to a multi-industry business incubator.
Thanks to our community’s small business support services, funders, and entrepreneurs we became Can-Do Kalamazoo, a highly collaborative, strategic business incubator and enterprise hub. We continue to offer the same kitchen facilities and support to food businesses. Just like the businesses we’ve helped grow; we’ve scaled to include even more resources. Our new location welcomes entrepreneurs and micro businesses of all types. We’ve already helped hundreds of businesses reach new heights. Join Can-Do Kalamazoo and reach your business goals.