Pueblo’s economy is historically distressed with a median household income less than the state average and a relatively large minority population. COVID impacted several of the region’s sectors including livestock markets. Yet, ag production in the Pueblo area is uniquely positioned in that there is the potential for direct linkages to the large urban population North along the Front Range corridor that has not yet been fully utilized. Given the need to consider a larger foodscape, work in this project with stretch into the multi-county region covered by the Southern Colorado Economic Development District and Pueblo’s Small Business Development Center.

The Pueblo Food Project recently wrapped up their Inaugural Entrepreneurship Development Program Class. Watch this quick video to hear from some of the participants about why they VALUE this course!!


Diversifying the Ag and Food Economy of South-Central Colorado                  



Collaborate with Pueblo Economic Development leaders and Regional food industry leaders to lead community discussion on ag technology and supply chain investments


Facilitate discussion to identify and prioritize sectors to target for new investment, workforce needs and technical assistance to continue Colorado Blueprint conversation


Collaborate with education and workforce partners to map market-driven training and career pathways for early and transitioning workers in the region


Partner with CSU-Pueblo, Pueblo Community College, regional economic development leaders and CSU Extension to host discussions, frame pathways and do outreach to relevant community stakeholders


Recruit and convene 2-3 task forces to analyze the market, financial and policy guidance needed to pursue new ventures in ag tech and supply chains


Explore the feasibility of diverse ag and food supply chain infrastructure alternatives for Pueblo County as a hub for the broader Southcentral region


Convene food system buyers to discuss distribution innovations that may bolster the viability of regional food enterprises; Provide market intelligence and pricing analysis to feasibility studies (meat processing, chili peppers, a community kitchen)


Compile secondary data and develop requested content based on the community conversation and task force groups to facilitate workforce and enterprise development planning/feasibility

Pueblo Food Project Partnership

The Pueblo Food Project is a program that was modeled in collaboration with the established CSU venture programs created and facilitated by the CSU Institute for Entrepreneurship. Long term partnerships have been created between CSU Fort Collins, the Southern Colorado Innovation Link as well as the Pueblo Food Project. As part of this program, we have conducted the following activities:

  • Supported the development of a food accelerator program for food entrepreneurs.
  • Hosted educational workshops.
  • Supported market research for food entrepreneurs.
  • Created and facilitated connections in the food entrepreneurship space, including the creation of a mentorship program.
  • Curriculum building and course facilitation on entrepreneurial concepts such as design thinking methodology, customer discovery, market analysis, branding tool sets, and pitching best practices.
  • Compiled secondary data and developed content based on community conversations and task force groups to facilitate workforce and enterprise development planning and feasibility.

In total we had 22 participants participate in this program across 2 cohorts. Resulting in a continued partnership for future cohorts to utilize entrepreneurial curriculum.

In addition to our Pueblo Food Partnership Trainings, we also provided a training for entrepreneurs called Pivot Pueblo County. Our goals in working with Pivot Pueblo were to support the long-term stability of local businesses and organizations due to the challenges faced by the COVID-19 outbreak. Engaging content around changing consumer habits and new health requirements, has required many businesses to pivot their business model to adapt to the changing times. Overall, we had 3 cohorts, and 50 individuals interact with our Pivot Pueblo materials.

Pivot Pueblo

First cohort testimonials of the Pueblo Pivot Jumpstart Program-  The Pivot Jumpstart Program was created in Larimer County by Colorado State University- College of Business Faculty to support the long-term stability of local businesses and organizations, due to the challenges faced by the COVID-19 outbreak. Engaging content around changing customer habits and new health requirements, many businesses are needing to ‘pivot’ their business model to adapt to the changing times. In extending the resource to Pueblo County, we engaged with Southern Colorado SBDC, Pueblo County Council, Southern Colorado Innovation Link, Pueblo Community College, and Colorado State University- Pueblo.


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