Webinar addresses lack of access to capital for food businesses

Ntl Good Food Network

Is lack of access to capital really a problem for food businesses that are solving social and environmental problems? There are more types of capital than ever before to support food businesses… but many don’t know they exist, they can be challenging to access and even more, it’s hard to tell which type will be the best for each business.

In the most recent of the National Good Food Network series of webinars (watch below), I lay out a framework for thinking about appropriate financing sources for enterprises, sensitive to their unique values, priorities, and where they are in the business lifecycle. This presentation was designed primarily for organizations that work with socially responsible food businesses, such as people who work for nonprofits, government offices, economic development companies, consulting firms, lenders, foundations, family offices. Of course the same principles apply to fundraising entrepreneurs themselves, who will find lots of tools to work with in their quest to raise money.

I was happy to share the “stage” with Gray Harris of Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI), a community development finance institution (CDFI) in Maine. She gives some detailed, illustrative examples of this organization’s investments, and investment strategies in regional food systems. We both come to the same conclusion: capital itself is not enough, and there needs to be a significant technical assistance component to ensure the success of good food ventures.

Finance for Food designs capital and fundraising workshops for food entrepreneurs and those who provide them technical assistance. Please be in touch if your organization would be interested in hosting a workshop, or if you would like to request a workshop in your area.

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