The Local Food Launchpad Guide


Over the last five years Open Food Network have advised and worked with hundreds of individuals and dozens of communities to develop local food enterprises across Australia and around the world. In that time, we’ve found that there isn’t much freely available in terms of quality guidance, resources and support for community food enterprises. We felt a real need to change that.

In February 2018 we’ll be launching the Local Food Launchpad Guide to Community Food Enterprise Development as a free online resource to support the growing number of communities around Australia interested in setting up local food enterprises, and we’d love to get your feedback on what we’ve got so far, and your input into additional content we believe might also be of interest.

Based on years of working with hundreds of organisations, entrepreneurs and communities developing ventures that make a difference, the Guide to Community Food Enterprise Development comes from the team at Doing Something Good (DSG) who designed and delivered the successful 2015 and 2016 Local Food Launchpad programs with City of Melbourne and Open Food Network.

The current pre-release version of the guide has almost 200 pages of content, which has been tried and tested over four years, in hundreds of workshops, labs and mentoring sessions delivered by the DSG team. However, this is the first time the content has been available as a stand alone learning resource, and we want to make sure the format, style and content is valuable, engaging and easy to follow.

> Join our Beta Test Community and you’ll get:
  1. a sneak preview of the first edition of the Guide before it’s official release in February 2018 and be able to get started on your own community food venture first thing in 2018;
  2. an invitation to join us for an exclusive Customer Development Master Class in Melbourne in the first half of 2018 (details to be confirmed in February 2018), FOR FREE, and
  3. the opportunity to shape this and future versions of the Guide, and help make sure we’re meeting your needs, and the needs of other aspiring community food entrepreneurs all around Australia.

To find out more and grab your spot in the Beta Test Community, sign up here


The Guide to Community Food Enterprise Development has been designed to provide you with the essential knowledge and tools to get you started with your proposed community food enterprise. It is also intended to foster the kind of practices and ways of thinking that will enable you to innovate, and identify and make the most of opportunities as they emerge. Most importantly, we want to save you invaluable time and money (and protect you from unnecessary heartache) by developing your ability to more confidently and accurately answer the following questions about this and any future venture:

1.Should we build this thing? and,
2. How might we increase our odds of success?

In putting together this guide, Doing Something Good have drawn from socially innovative and well-tested approaches, practices and tools including: human-centred design (design thinking), systems thinking, Lean Startup, Business Model Canvas, Asset-Based Community Development, Movement Building and Social Marketing.

With the Local Food Launchpad Community Food Enterprise Development Guide you will be provided with the tools, templates and information to:

  • grow your understanding of key issues, challenges and opportunities in the food sector;
  • determine whether there is a market for your community food enterprise, or new product or service;
  • identify the customers who are looking for what you are offering, and the evangelists that will help you along your road to success;
  • develop a business model to make your venture profitable/financially sustainable;
  • build your capability to be creative and innovative in response to complex problems;
  • gain insight into how your community food enterprise can ;
  • produce an effective Communications and Engagement Plan;
  • deliver a knock-out pitch;
  • and much more…

We believe that following the content in the guide will help you to reduce your risk of failure, and enable you to produce and deliver a community food enterprise that will: help improve your local food system; make your community more resilient; grow your local economy, and provide products and services that your customers are going to love.

So what's a Beta Test?

The practice of beta testing comes from the field of software development. It is the final test a developer does prior to shipping a product. With beta testing, real customers are provided with a pre-release version of a product that may well have bugs or room for improvement. Customers participating in the beta test (AKA Beta Testers) then provide feedback to the developer in order to fix bugs and make improvements prior to final release. Beta testing is particularly popular with online game developers as it means they end up releasing a better product and providing a better experience for their target customer. It’s also a way of building loyalty with fans, as they appreciate the opportunity to get early access to new games, and the satisfaction of directly contributing to improving the end product and experience for themselves and their peers.


Our aim is to produce a comprehensive guide to Community Food Enterprise Development, available for free, for:

  1. individuals, organisations or communities looking to set up a community food enterprise;
  2. existing community food enterprises looking to improve or expand their business with new products or services;
  3. local government councils looking to support the development of community food enterprises in their local area.

If any of the above describe you, and you’re interested in providing us with feedback and input into the first edition of the Guide to Community Food Enterprise Development, please sign up to be part of our Beta Tester Community here.

As a member of the Beta Testa Community, you’ll receive a Beta version of the guide early next week, and an invitation to be our guest for the exclusive Customer Development Master Class with David Hood from Doing Something Good, in Melbourne in the first half of 2018, FOR FREE.

At the Customer Development Master Class you will learn how to:

  • determine that there is a market for your community enterprise, product or service
  • identify your ideal customer and how what your offering can best meet their needs
  • engage potential customers to help you develop and grow your community food enterprise
  • craft compelling value propositions that will help you:
    • engage your target customers
    • attract like-minded business partners
    • get the funding you need
    • recruit your dream team

We’ll be launching the completed Guide to Community Food Enterprise Development late February 2018, so if you’d like to get a sneak preview, and start working on your own community food enterprise early in 2018 — now is your chance.

Sign up to join us as a Beta Tester or find out more here.

On behalf of the team at Open Food Network and Doing Something Good, thanks so much for being part of making this happen.


Interested in participating in the next Melbourne-based Local Food Launchpad program or want to get a Launchpad program running in your community? Contact David Hood via email at or by phoning 0413 124 427.