“Training the Trainers” in Community Finance – Free Webinar
While writing a book is one way to get the word out about all the different ways to raise money for a socially responsible food business, I also do quite a bit of designing, facilitating, moderating, and speaking at workshops and conferences around the continent. Now that I’ve finished the process of writing and editing Raising Dough, I’m excited to be much more available to work with other communities committed to fostering a thriving financial environment for food businesses.
In addition to teaching financing workshops for food entrepreneurs directly, one of the most powerful things that Finance for Food does is “Train the Trainers” financing workshops designed for people and organizations that work with food entrepreneurs. The workshops empower a much wider range of service providers to give good financing advice to their clients.
These organizations might be membership organizations (such as local, independent business networks and Slow Money chapters) that want their members to understand the most effective ways to connect investors to local businesses seeking capital. Or they could be organizations that provide technical assistance to food businesses (such as extension agencies, business incubators and accelerators, and sustainable food and farming organizations) that want to provide more effective technical assistance and financing referral advice based on the unique needs of their clients. I also work with organizations that provide some form of financing (such as banks, credit unions, USDA field offices, and foundations) and are interested in helping their borrowers or grantees leverage other sources of capital in addition to the loans and grants they can provide directly.
As an example of this work, I recently gave a presentation on community capital to the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Local Economy Fellows; BALLE realizes that educating community leaders in the various ways of financing locally-owned businesses is crucial in building a healthy and thriving local economy. Presenting with me were kindred colleagues Michael Shuman (local economist extraordinaire and author of several books, including his most recent Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity — he also wrote the foreword to my book Raising Dough) and Jenny Kassan (the pioneering securities law and investment/financing attorney who helped draft and review the legal sections of Raising Dough).