Providing customized training and support to aspiring small business entrepreneurs

Escala, a Spanish word meaning “to climb”, is a small business development program that was founded in 2001. With NVFS’ support, entrepreneurs have launched a variety of businesses ranging from construction, lawn care, or cleaning, to the food industry, and daycare.

Since Escala’s relaunch in 2020, the focus has been on providing multi-lingual technical assistance in food-industry small business development for low-income Northern Virginians. Escala assists clients in overcoming barriers to grow sustainable businesses that increase household incomes, create jobs, and contribute to the local economy and our communities.

Through consulting, coaching, and a variety of training formats we work hand-in-hand with aspiring entrepreneurs to meet their needs and the needs of their burgeoning business. Key program components include unlimited, one-on-one consultations that cover a variety of topics, including business registration, marketing, business plan development, access to capital.

Visit our website regularly and follow us on social media to receive updates and workshop announcements.

Individual Consultations▼

Escala has partnered with Britepaths and the Financial Empowerment Center to provide individual consultations on food entrepreneurship through a virtual platform. By clicking here Book Your Appointment with Financial Empowerment Center- South County – Other (, clients can book a consultation directly with our small business counselor to work individually and at their own pace towards the success of their food business concepts or receive support on improving existing food business operations.

Online Workshops in Spanish and English▼

Escala’s monthly online workshops provide a wider audience with information about crucial food entrepreneurship subjects, the latest updates, and opportunities. Escala designs and hosts these virtual workshops in partnership with Britepaths and the Financial Empowerment Center.

Customized Group Courses▼

The Escala and La Cocina VA partnership provide aspiring entrepreneurs with a range of information from the first steps of starting a food business to training on how to improve existing food business outcomes. The group courses at La Cocina VA provide in-depth training, which is based on an exclusively designed curriculum for the food industry and entrepreneurship. For more info visit Signature Program (

Support NVFS Escala Entrepreneurs

Small business owners are vital members of our community. Delicious food and goods inspired from around the world are available through our Escala graduates. Purchase meals and goods, or book a food truck for your next event. Contact the entrepreneurs to learn more or place an order.

Featured Businesses

Ready to take your business or idea to the next level? Interested in selling the tasty treats that you make at home, a commercial kitchen, a food truck, or your own brick & mortar restaurant? Fill out the form below to contact an Escala small business counselor and get started on your path to success!

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