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ReSET, a non-profit business support organization based in Hartford, announces its participation in the $46.6 million Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Grants Program to Support Small Businesses. Over five years reSET will be awarded $2.225 million in DECD grant funding to support its work with primarily Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) and women interested in founding, launching, and scaling food and retail businesses in the Greater Hartford area.

Entrepreneurial Food Business Support

Programmatic elements targeting food entrepreneurs will begin in early 2023 and will include a new Digital Marketing Mastermind training curriculum to help businesses adopt digital tools and marketing techniques that enable sales beyond their physical footprint; a 12-week Food Incubator for early-stage food businesses; a new 12-week Food Accelerator for growing food businesses; networking events and workshops offered by the Hartford Culinary Collaborative; and coaching, mentoring and ongoing support for food entrepreneurs at all stages of development. The Food Program expects to target over 425 entrepreneurs over the course of the grant.

Entrepreneurial Retail Business Support

The grant program also will support the Floor–Plan Retail Activation Initiative in partnership with Breakfast Lunch & Dinner, launching this Fall in Hartford and will include a 12-week Retail Incubator program; opportunities to access an incubator storefront in Hartford; an e-commerce platform; vendor space at Winterfair Hartford holiday market; and additional pop-up market events. The Retail Program elements expect to target over 450 entrepreneurs over the five year grant.

Both the Food Business Support and the Entrepreneurial Retail Business Support programs will include grants to businesses who complete the program, totaling $170,000 over the course of the grant period.

“This DECD support helps reSET to expand the reach of our impact-driven food and retail business support programs. We’re thrilled to be recognized for our work along with the other grant recipients focused on the crucial work to grow Connecticut’s economy through small businesses,” said Sarah Bodley, reSET Executive Director. “We believe that business is a powerful force for positive change in the world. Food and retail entrepreneurs have a lot to consider when you look at their supply chain, workforce, and how they show up in the community. The targeted assistance to these sectors will make a significant impact on the number and quality of new businesses in our region.”

reSET is greater Hartford’s only business accelerator that supports the creation and growth of mission-driven businesses. The Impact Accelerator has had 143 businesses graduate since its launch in 2011, and the Food Incubator has had 62 businesses graduate since its launch in 2019. reSET program alumni have generated over $25 million in revenue, have raised $17 million in outside capital, and supported more than 400 jobs. Alumni companies are addressing a wide range of impact areas including food, agriculture, energy, environmental sustainability, education, arts, health, wellness, economic empowerment, and workforce development.


About reSET

reSET is a nonprofit organization in Hartford, CT, whose mission is advancing the social enterprise sector. reSET specializes in social enterprise ― impact driven business with a double or triple bottom line. In addition to providing coworking space, accelerator and mentoring programs, reSET aims to inspire innovation and community collaboration, and to support entrepreneurs in creating market-based solutions to community challenges. reSET’s goal is to meet entrepreneurs wherever they are in their trajectory and to help them take their businesses to the next level.