South Bronx Food Market wins small business award

South Bronx Farmer’s Market vendor George Hammond with customers. Photo: Pauliina Siniauer

A Mott Haven start-up is one of three small businesses in the Bronx to win an entrepreneurship award for innovative business plans that set environmental sustainability as a priority.

The South Bronx Food Market was awarded the Libra Group’s American Entrepreneurship Award for 2016, and will receive funding and logistical training for its dedication to neighborhood consumers seeking good-tasting, nutritious food on a budget.

“The South Bronx Food Market is committed to promoting access to nutritious, affordable, locally-grown produce and related agricultural products for the under-served residents of the South Bronx,” said Mott Haven resident Lily Kesselman, who founded the market.  “Libra’s financial and logistical support will allow us to expand into new markets with the aim of combatting obesity, diabetes, and malnutrition.”

The Libra Group says it is always on the lookout for promising entrepreneurs in its catchment areas, the Bronx and Miami, Fl., “whose business plans exhibit sustainability, innovation and a positive impact on the local communities.” Winners receive $125,000 in start-up funding, mentorship and business support services.

The other two Bronx businesses to receive the award this year were Ginjan Bros., which has tapped into the borough’s large West African population by marketing a popular drink from that region, made with fresh ginger, cold-pressed pineapples, fresh lemons, vanilla, anise extracts, and organic cane sugar; and Watt + Flux, which upgrades existing lighting systems in businesses and schools.

The closing date for businesses looking to apply for the 2017 awards is April 27. A list of this year’s finalists will be published on the American Entrepreneurship Award website by the end of May. Winners will be announced in June.

Entries are encouraged from businesses that have no prior experience with an “all-new business concept which is not related to their core activities and cannot be funded through existing resources.” Winners get legal, accounting, communications, IT consultancy services, and mentors.