About Us

Grounds for Empowerment (GFE) is one of the specialty coffee programs powered by Social Enterprise @ Goizueta, which works out of the Goizueta Business School at Emory UniversityGFE is a three-year business incubator that provides promising women specialty coffee farmers the business know-how, marketplace connections, and funds to reach their full economic potential.


The Challenge:

Currently, women perform a majority of the field work, harvesting, and sorting; however, they are underrepresented in the transportation, exportation, and ownership of coffee farms.

Our Solution:

Transforming the potential inherent in promising women coffee farmers into genuine economic opportunities requires a holistic approach; one that works on business know-how, marketplace connections, and investment funds.

Our Model:

  1. Identify: GFE works with partners on the ground in Nicaragua to enroll a small cohort of promising women coffee farmers.
  2. Learns: GFE works to develop practical understandings that help coffee farmers participate more effectively in specialty coffee markets.
  3. Connects: GFE engages with university-based communities and with individuals in the broader specialty coffee market to recruit advisors, supporters and potential customers for participating GFE farmers.
  4. Funds: GFE purchases green coffee from each GFE farmer and sells roasted coffee to cover travel and other business-building experiences for each GFE farmer. We also raise program and investment funds in other events and activities throughout the year.

Our Roaster

Radio Roasters is a local coffee shop located in Scottdale, GA. Radio Roasters is owned and operated by Chip Grabow, an experienced radio producer, hence the "radio" influence.

Radio Roasters has been featured in Eater Atlanta, Atlanta Magazine, and was listed by Southern Living as one of 2017's Best Southern Made Products.

If you're interested in trying some of Radio Roasters coffee, you can either purchase coffees from their online store (https://www.radioroasters.com) or you can stop by their shop for their Open Roastery on Saturdays from 10 am to Noon.

 First Year Highlights

Features in Daily Coffee News

Daily Coffee News featured Grounds for Empowerment twice this past year, and we look forward to making more news in the coming year!

Grounds for Empowerment Community Forum:

The #GFECF offered exposure and education opportunities for the GFE farmers. This week long forum will continue to be an annual event that connects GFE farmers with our Emory and Atlanta coffee communities.

Origin Pilot Trip:

In March, the GFE team hit the road and visited the two GFE farms, our friends at PRODECOOP, and the new Corrales family dry mill. Along the way, we checked out hotels and restaurants and cupped coffees from the 2016/2017 harvest! Stay tuned for information about booking your spot on the 218 GFE Origin Trip.

Specialty Coffee Expo:

We had a packed schedule on our team's first trip to Seattle. GFE farmers had the opportunity to display their coffees during a public cupping session. GFE farmers also met with key industry figures like Maria Botto (leader of El Salvador's chapter of IWCA), Gilles Brenner (from Al Grano), Nick Hoskins (from Café Ético), and Fatima Lopez (from PRODECOOP). We also had the chance to attend the International Women's Coffee Alliance's annual breakfast.