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The Market Announces New Incubator Program

May 18, 2022

The Downtown Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines has announced a new incubator pilot program to support minority-owned small businesses. The Downtown Farmers’ Market Minority-Owned Small Business Incubator Program will host minority-owned businesses and approved startup businesses at two special incubator-themed booths, providing the new vendors an opportunity to sell their products alongside other Market vendors. One booth is brought to the community by Principal Financial Group® and another is in partnership with Center @ Sixth and brought to the community by EMC Insurance Companies.

The pilot program aims to improve access and economic growth for local small, minority and historically disenfranchised businesses across Greater Des Moines (DSM). The Market welcomes an average of 25,000 visitors each Saturday, providing program participants with a higher level of visibility.

“The Downtown Farmers’ Market Minority-Owned Small Business Incubator Program will connect new vendors to the Downtown Farmers’ Market and intentionally welcome small business owners with diverse backgrounds that may be interested in becoming full-time vendors in the future,” said Tiffany Tauscheck, Chief Operations Officer at the Greater Des Moines Partnership and President of Downtown DSM, Inc. “This collaboration will strengthen our opportunity to provide Market patrons with resources from vendors they otherwise may not have known about, and gives local, minority-owned businesses an elevated platform to showcase their goods and services throughout the season.”

The program will begin on Saturday, May 28, and continue throughout the rest of The Market season which runs through October 2022. More details on specific participating vendors will be announced in coming weeks.

“The Downtown Farmers’ Market Incubator Program provides a great opportunity to uplift minority-owned businesses in our community and help them reach new customers,” said Jo Christine Miles, director, Principal® Foundation and community relations. “Principal® is committed to helping more people reach financial security and strives to eliminate barriers for entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses. We are excited to see what these small business owners bring to the marketplace and how this new connection can bolster their growth potential.”

To participate in the program, a business must be minority-owned, operated and actively managed by one or more persons who fall into one or more of the following categories: minority group, woman, persons with disabilities, disabled veteran or LGBTQ+. Businesses must also sell locally grown/handmade items — no resale or wholesale options will be accepted. Applicants must also be new to The Market. Interested parties can apply for the program on The Partnership’s website. Participants in the Center @ Sixth booth must also be members of Center @ Sixth, a collective of Black and Brown-owned businesses in the 6th Avenue Corridor Urban Neighborhood Main Street District.

“This collaboration with Center @ Sixth is a great opportunity for our Greater Des Moines community members to learn about and support Black and Brown-owned businesses who are already established in their community,” said Beth Nigut, Executive Vice President of EMC Insurance Companies. “We hope that this partnership encourages residents and visitors to experience the immense value these diverse businesses provide to our communities in fulfilling everyday needs.

The Market is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. Additional sponsors include MidAmerican Energy Company, First Interstate Bank, Iowa Food and Family Project, Polk County, DART and iHeart Radio. 

Learn more about the incubator program on The Market’s website.

About the Downtown Farmers’ Market

The Downtown Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday morning May – October in the Historic Court District in Downtown Des Moines. The Market also produces a Downtown Winter Farmers’ Market in November and December. Find more information at desmoinesfarmersmarket.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/DowntownFarmersMarket and on Twitter and Instagram at @dtfarmersmarket.  

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.