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Black Farmer Fund: Supporting Black Food Entrepreneurs

Olivia Watkins
Olivia Watkins, MBA, Co-Founder and President of Black Farmer Fund

Join Black Farmer Fund Co-Founder and President Olivia Watkins as she shares about this emerging community investment fund striving to create a more equitable food system for black farmers and food business owners.

Olivia will join CBEY Resident Fellow Tagan Engel to discuss the Fund’s first year of community-designed investments, supports for regenerative practices, and the innovative ways they are working to address historical and current inequities for Black entrepreneurs in the food system. 

About Black Farmer Fund

Co-Founded by Black farmer activists Karen Washington and Olivia Watkins, the Black Farmer Fund has established a means for community members to access capital that recognizes the historical discrimination of lending and banking that informs the present reality of Black communities. 

“We believe Black farmers, business owners, and land stewards should benefit equitably from financing, intellectual capital, technical assistance, networking, and public policies.” 

The Fund has raised over $1 million, and in its pilot cycle is supporting eight NY State Black farmers and food businesses. They are operationalizing their values by co-designing their process with a community-led team, supporting food businesses through grants and low-interest loans, as well as financial education and technical support. They are also building power and support for Black farmers through collaborations and partnerships with other aligned organizations, individuals, and policymakers.

Miss the event?  Watch the recording!


About Olivia Watkins

About Olivia Watkins

About Olivia Watkins

Olivia Watkins (she/her/hers) is a social entrepreneur and impact investor. For the past seven years, she has financed, developed, and operated environmental and social projects across the US. She currently serves as a co-founder and President of Black Farmer Fund. She also serves as a board member for Soul Fire Farm Institute. Prior to founding Black Farmer Fund in 2017, Olivia worked in several production roles at Soul Fire Farm Institute and Kahumana Organic Farms, leveraging her environmental biology background to manage and grow environmentally regenerative and socially impactful business operations.

Olivia has an MBA from North Carolina State University in Financial Management, and a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in Environmental Biology. She was also recognized on the 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 Social Impact list and The Grist 50.

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Photos above credited to Black Farmer Fund


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