Vol. XLIV No. 2

Food Deserts Are Ripe for Business

Abstract: People living in food deserts lack access to nutritious food. Although growing awareness of food deserts has prompted federal and state governments to allocate resources to combat the problem, many municipal and state governments lack the funding, personnel, and expertise necessary to develop and implement programs to address food deserts. The private sector can take advantage of federal and local governmental incentive programs to establish an enterprise to serve food desert areas. The successful food desert intiatives implemented around the country can serve as a model for future programs. Because these businesses have proved to be profitable but are created to serve a social purpose, the business should be organized under a hybrid entity structure that allows the for-profit company to prioritize its social mission. An innovative corporate structure will allow the mission of the company to persist and will provide the entrepreneur with resources and funding that would otherwise be foreclosed.

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