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A Peer Learning Cohort for Historically Marginalized Food Entrepreneurs

Community Co-Pack NW, a low-barrier contract manufacturer that incubates and scales BIPOC- and women-led businesses, in partnership with XXcelerate, a nonprofit that supports Oregon’s growing women-owned businesses, are announcing an exciting new learning opportunity for Oregon’s scaling food entrepreneurs.

The Co-Pack XXcelerator is a four-month community learning experience for business owners from historically marginalized communities in a co-packing relationship looking to leverage that relationship for their growth outside the state. The first cohort of this learning experience will begin in October 2022 and end in January of 2023. This multifaceted cohort will include both virtual and in-person workshops, one-on-one coaching and peer learning groups with a focus on helping you scale your food or beverage business and optimize your co-packing relationship to further grow your business. The cohort will cover the fundamentals to a successful contract manufacturing relationship with a key focus on operations, business finances for growth, forecasting, supply chain management and promotional and sales planning.

Details about the cohort and how to apply to this opportunity are below. Applications are open and spaces are limited. Community Co-Pack will be hosting an Info Session on July 12th from 11p-11:30am if you would like to learn more before applying. Thanks to Oregon Community Foundation’s Thriving Entrepreneurs Grant Program, the tuition cost of the program is sponsored for Cohort 1.

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You can expect the following at the completion of the cohort:

  1. Build your capacity as an owner to successfully manage and grow a co-packing relationship.

  2. Know and deeply understand your operational and production strategy so you can successfully manage your growth with intention.

  3. Build your capacity as an owner to make more strategic and informed decisions about complex business topics

  4. Transition you from working on your business instead of inside your business, and to do so with confidence.

  5. Guide you to leveling up to the next stage of growth that is right for you and your business.

  6. Build community with other founders who are in a similar phase of growth, promoting mentorship and collaboration over competition.


The cohort will take place over a four-month period with a pause for the holiday sales period. We selected this time of year so you can actively be implementing the learning in your day to day - living the experience of the education as you go and sharing back your experiences and learning to the cohort.

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We are inviting Oregon’s makers, producers and business owners who have a Food or Beverage product who qualify to apply to this low barrier, low cost, high value learning experience. You MUST meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Must be registered in the State of Oregon

  • Your business must be at least one year in business and earning revenues

  • You are looking to scale your business to sell outside the state

  • You are currently selling wholesale to retailers

  • You identify as a member of a historically marginalized community (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color, Women, LGTBQ, Disabled, Refugee/Immigrant, Low Income, Veteran)

  • *We will center the most vulnerable in our selection

  • You are in a formal co-packing relationship OR have been in a co-packing relationship previously and are actively looking for a new relationship

  • Can attend and be present for 80% of the cohort learning sessions (and are able to make it to Portland at least once a month for in-person learning)

  • Are able to pay a $200 administrative cost to secure your space (the cost of the cohort is paid for by Oregon Community Foundation, a $1875 value)


There are only 8 spots for The Co-Pack XXcelerator Cohort 1! Applications are open and we highly encourage you to apply if this feels like a good fit. If you are unsure, please join the info session to get your questions answered.

We encourage makers, producers, small business owners from Oregon who have recently entered a co-packing relationship and need the tools to successfully scale their business to trade outside the state to apply. We are a dedicated team of entrepreneurs, service providers and community leaders who have the resources and tools to build your capacity to have a more robust and resilient business.

Join us for this rare but specific learning opportunity!

  • July 5: Applications Open APPLY HERE

  • July 5 - August 5:  Application Period

  • July 12 (11-11:30am): Information Session RECORDING

  • August 5 (5pm): Applications Due

  • September 1:  Candidates Notified

  • September 7: Candidate Commitments Due

  • October 1: Cohort Starts

  • December 12 - January 9: Holiday Pause

  • January 30: Cohort Ends

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