Danielle Vogel has championed female food producers since opening the first Glen’s Garden Market in Dupont five years ago. Now she’s upping the ante with AccelerateHERdc—a women-owned food business competition with a purse of $10,000.

“Glen’s Garden Market is deeply committed to growing small, sustainability minded food businesses as a way to cultivate a community of mindful food producers,” Vogel says. “We’re looking to nourish our neighbors with food made within our community, by people who live here. In just under five years, we’ve launched 78 local food companies, 43 of which are owned by women.”

Vogel calls the AccelerateHERdc competition Glen’s way of doubling down on their efforts to displace the demand for industrially produced food with local products.

Female food producers with retail-ready, sustainably-minded products from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed region are eligible to participate. That includes D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Applications will be accepted between March 1 and March 31. A panel will review submissions on April 8 and the finalists will be asked to live pitch their businesses on Earth Day (April 22).

The competition is being judged by the founders of Gordys Pickle Jar, Misfit Juicery, Soupergirl, Whisked!, Hey Gouter, Lumi Juice, and others. Criteria include: deliciousness and mindfulness of product; viability of concept and vision; and demonstrated commitment to sustainability and scaleability.

In addition to the $10,000 investment in their food business, the winning entrepreneur gets one year of strategic marketing and merchandising mentorship, free entry into the Good Food Awards, and a few more business boosts.

(WCP)