Capstone – Project

9. Linden Avenue Greenhouse Project, Financial Viability & Community Resources

A Collaboration Between

Engagement Synopsis

The traditional narrative of South Bend has been one of decline ever since the closing of Studebaker in 1963. A great series of recent articles has provided more nuance to that claim (see “More People” on and the past decade in South Bend has seen a great deal of economic expansion and new construction. However, that development and investment has largely bypassed the South and West Side of South Bend, where the city’s historic minority populations have traditionally resided. These communities suffer from not only a lack of investment but a lack of access, especially to food healthy food options.

One of the primarily responsibilities of the E3 team is to engage with residents of South Bend and listen to what they need to help improve their communities. A recent survey by a local has shown that there is a great deal of interest in better food options for these communities, particularly for healthy food choices and not what’s offered at corner “munchie marts.” Investing in a greenhouse in this corridor of South Bend offers promising opportunity to not only increase access to healthy food but to provide resources and training for residents to grow their own food as well.

We need the assistance of Mendoza students to assess what financial projections would look like for the construction and maintenance of the greenhouse, revenue from a farmers’ market and/or single crop production, and the cost of different staffing positions for the greenhouse. This will require sifting through comparable greenhouse P&Ls (and researching new ones, if possible) and determining what can be expected from possible revenue streams like a farmers’ market and/or single crop production. We would also welcome ideas for additional revenue streams and/or staffing options to make the greenhouse financially stable but will still providing the programming and maintenance needed. The students will be asked to provide 3-5 year financial projections for the project, suggest ideas for additional revenue streams and/or staffing options for a living wage, and offer an overall assessment of financial sustainability. There are many examples of greenhouses and comparable projects that could be drawn from but we are especially looking for long-term sustainability and leveraging South Bend resources to make the greenhouse a success.

This is a very unique opportunity to contribute to a plan to revive urban agriculture in a part of South Bend that historically had far more fresh food access through gardens and fruit trees. The greenhouse offers the potential to not only bring fresh food to a food dessert but to restore a whole aspect of community engagement and nutrition through urban agriculture. This project will challenge students to combine their finance/accounting skills with entrepreneurial thinking and social justice to create something sustainable while maximizing impact.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this project, students will learn the following:

  • The basics of urban greenhouse financial models
  • Different revenue sources available to urban agriculture and greenhouses
  • Different programming options for greenhouses and the resources needed to support those programs
  • By participating in this project, students can expect to analyze and present data into a financial viability report which can then be used to help convince local investors, government, and community representatives to invest in the greenhouse project.

Company Information

CompanyCity of South Bend Department of Community Investment
HQSouth Bend, Indiana
StagePre-Revenue Startup
Hiring PotentialFollow-on Projects

Company Overview

The Engagement & Economic Empowerment Team (E3) is a division within the South Bend’s Department of Community Investment. The mission of E3 is to address income and opportunity disparities in the neighborhoods of South Bend, primarily those on the West and South sides who have experienced decades of neglect and historic lack of investment. Our mission for 2020 was to identify and support development opportunities in low- to middle-income (LMI) neighborhoods on the South and West sides of South Bend. One potential project that was noticed was the lack of semi-public commercial grade kitchens; after some research into those kitchens we determined the next step would be to determine the financial viability of a shared commercial kitchen in South Bend. This is the area where we need the help and assistance of students from Mendoza.

Industry Mentors

Company Admin

Dominique Edwards

[email protected]

Course Info & Engagement Details

SchoolMasters in Business Administration (MBA)
Engagement Format -
CourseMBA Interterm (SPRING 2021)
Students Enrolled120 enrolled, 3-5 students per team per project
Meeting Day & Time3/22-25/2021
Student Time Commitment30+ Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment5+ Hours
Duration0.43 Weeks

Project Topics

Growth Strategy


Research & Development

Academic Mentors

There are currently no supervisors assigned.

Assigned Students


Joseph Alemagno

[email protected]


Adam Schecter

[email protected]


Arunesh Singh

[email protected]

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Submission
During this program, you'll be working on a real project posed by a real industry partner. Please download, sign, and then upload the Statement of Confidentiality. If your industry partner requires an additional NDA, that will be loaded as a Project Resources
March 20th, 2021 Submission Required submission-required


Each company will provide a web conference link and time for scheduled kickoff meeting
March 22nd, 2021 Event na
Temperature Check #1 Due by 5:00 PM ET

Temperature Check #1 Due by 5:00 PM ET

March 22nd, 2021 Event na
Temperature Check #2 Due by 5:00 PM ET

Temperature Check #2 Due by 5:00 PM ET

March 23rd, 2021 Event na
Please upload your final presentations and/or any final reports you delivered to the company.
March 25th, 2021 Submission Required submission-required
Final PEER Evaluation Due

Final PEER Evaluation Due

March 28th, 2021 Event na
Final SELF Evaluation Due

Final SELF Evaluation Due

March 28th, 2021 Event na
Final Interterm Feedback Survey

Final Interterm Feedback Survey

March 28th, 2021 Event na

Key Milestones & Project Process

  • March 5, 2021 - Review Project Materials

    Review of project materials provided by industry mentor.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Students will have a better understanding of the project.

  • March 22, 2021 - Project Kick-Off Meeting

    Students will have the opportunity to discuss the project with industry mentor and municipal staff and learn about an existing community controlled food project developed and managed by Pastor Curtis Whittaker of FAITH Farms and Orchard from the City of Gary who is also a Certified Public Accountant.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Students should have the ability to learn more about the project, ask questions, and learn more about existing projects of its nature by industry professionals.

  • March 23, 2021 - Identify Resources and Key Performance Indicators to Support Project Feasibility

    Identify resources and key performance indicators to support the feasibility of the greenhouse project as it pertains to the Kennedy Park neighborhood to address food insecurity. Review the Westside Qualitative Study and Greenhouse case study as your starting point and pull in resources and other research to support your findings and back your analyses.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Provide EEE with a list of additional resources, analyses and case studies to refer to in order to support project feasibility.

  • March 24, 2021 - Development of Key Performance Indicators

    Identify key performance indicators and provide EEE Team on opportunities to improve food insecurity in Kennedy Park.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Develop key performance indicators for project and provide EEE an informative one-pager or infographic that can be shared with community partners and leadership teams.

  • March 25, 2021 - Project Check - In

    Check in with EEE Team on progress of financial analysis and other findings.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Develop a report/check-in for EEE on progress of  project analysis.

  • March 26, 2021 - Project Wrap Up

    Provide EEE with analysis findings.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Provide EEE with final report of financial feasibility of project and additional findings.