Workshops & Events
Elizabeth Ü, author of Raising Dough: the Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business and executive director of Finance for Food, is a frequent conference speaker, workshop presenter, panel moderator, and designer of interactive, collaborative sessions at local, regional, and national events around the continent. Inquire about availability and booking.
May 18, 2013 in San Francisco, CA
Sow Your Seed Funding
Elizabeth will introduce the range of financing options at the beginning of this collaborative workshop for food enterprises and their supporters. Hosted by Slow Money NorCal. Discounted registration for farmers, students, and HUB members.
An intimate workshop for funders only: learn the different ways that you can support the financing of socially responsible food businesses, through direct investing, intermediaries, and in-kind support. Hosted by Slow Money NYC. Please email Elizabeth for more information if you are interested in attending.
June 12-14, 2013 in Buffalo, NY
2013 BALLE Conference
As part of the Community Capital Advisory Committee, Elizabeth has been helping plan the Community Capital track of the conference for the last two years, and is doing so again this year. She’ll be moderating a panel on creative ways for entrepreneurs to fund their businesses. She’s also excited to be formally launching her book, Raising Dough: the Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business, at the event this year! Register by April 22 to take advantage of Early Bird special rates.
June 20, 2013 – wherever you are
Raising Dough: Financing for Food (a National Good Food Network webinar)
What are the most appropriate financing opportunities for food businesses, and when? Designed for people who work with food entrepreneurs — including nonprofit staff, government officials, lenders, investors, and financiers — this webinar will help you assess an entrepreneur’s business and personal values in order to help them more effectively raise money. (Fundraising entrepreneurs will also get a lot out of the content.) Registration is free.
June 21-23, 2013 in Palo Alto, CA
Hack//Meat: Reimagine the Future of Meat
Food+Tech Connect, in partnership with Finance for Food funder GRACE Communications Foundation and Applegate, is bringing together technologists, entrepreneurs, creatives, policy experts, non-profit leaders and industry executives to develop technologies and tools that help create a better future for meat.
Over the course of the weekend, teams will work with design-thinking facilitators and industry “steakholders” to rapidly prototype innovative solutions to the way meat is produced, processed, distributed, sold and consumed. Elizabeth is one of the mentors for the program.
June 24-28 in Oakland, CA
Food Craft Institute’s Business Intensive
This 5-day intensive course is geared towards food artisan business owners seeking to grow their business expertise. The Business Intensive curriculum has been specifically developed for existing food practitioners and is taught by professional consultants — including Elizabeth — who have developed their expertise working specifically with small to mid-scale food businesses. Learn the ins and outs of business planning, marketing, raising capital, and much more. Registration will be available soon; stay tuned for more details.
July 2013 in Oakland, CA
Jams, Sauces & Condiments: a Food Craft Institute Master Class
(Note: this workshop is part of a course that runs from June 8 — August 14)
This course, a spin on the Food Craft Institute’s popular Jams, Marmalades, and Chutneys Master Class, will highlight the making of savory jams, sweet and spicy fruit salsas, fermented sauces and Asian condiments. It will cover everything you need to know to own and run your own hand-made food business. Led by industry experts and business owner practitioners. Elizabeth will be presenting a financing workshop at one of their Saturday dates in July; exact date TBD.
August 18-19, 2013 in San Francisco, CA
Food & Entrepreneurship Conference
Elizabeth will be moderating a panel on financing food businesses during this event, the educational component of La Cocina’s popular Street Food Festival. The official website should be updated for the 2013 event in June; stay tuned for more details, and in the meantime, you can check out the details of last year’s conference.
October 14-18 in Castro Valley, CA
Commercial Food Forestry
Elizabeth will be joining perennial vegetable and permaculture food forestry expert Eric Toensmeier and others to lead this very interactive workshop, hosted by Living Mandala. More details will be available here soon.
October 24-26, 2013 in San Jose, CA
Net Impact Conference: Change Starts Here
Elizabeth will be presenting at this leading forum for students and professionals who want to use their careers to tackle the world’s toughest social and environmental problems.
March 10-14, 2014 in Miami, FL
Financial Permaculture & Local Business Summit
Elizabeth will be keynoting the second Financial Permaculture event in Miami, hosted again by Earth Learning and the Financial Permaculture Institute. This event, as well as the work leading up to it, will be focused on designing replicable regenerative local food enterprises and growing resilient local food economies. Sign up for the Finacial Permaculture mailing list to be alerted when registration opens.
April 4-6, 2013 in Vancouver, BC, Canada
The New Economy Summit
March 19, 2013 in Stanford, CA
Local Food Lab Food & Farm Venture Fair
The Local Food Lab‘s Winter Accelerator program culminated in a Venture Fair on March 19th at the Stanford Design School. Each Local Food Lab entrepreneur (plus a few others) showcased their sustainable business. Elizabeth was on hand as a resource and hosted a Finance for Food table at the event.
January 21-25, 2013 in Miami, FL
2013 Financial Permaculture & Local Business Summit
Earth Learning, the South Dade Economic Council, and Miami Dade College hosted community investment/financial experts (including Elizabeth), Permaculture designers, and sustainability entrepreneurs for this dynamic gathering and integrative learning experience to begin building resiliency in the Homestead community of Verde Gardens.
We addressed economic and ecological challenges of the 21st century as we explored creating money cycling, local investments, and forward-looking businesses that optimize the local natural systems and human capacities to implement models of regenerative business and local resiliency! Click here for more information about the event.
December 5-6, 2012 in Weyers Cave, VA
2012 Virginia Farm to Table Conference - Food and Farming at a Profitable and Sustainable Scale
On Thursday, December 6th, Elizabeth gave a plenary presentation on Financing Food Systems. She also co-presented two breakout panel presentations on Funding & Capital Opportunities.
November 11, 2012 in San Francisco, CA
Elizabeth co-presented a workshop on Putting Money to Work for a Better World. It covered investing for social change and resilience – with plenty of interesting fodder for entrepreneurs seeking financing from like-minded investors, as well.
October 23, 2012 in San Francisco, CA
Fisheries Roundtable - Challenges and Opportunities: Lending & Borrowing in a Below Market Rate Space
Elizabeth laid out the landscape of difficulties that food entrepreneurs encounter while attempting to access capital during this funders-only, practitioner-level discussion focusing on below-market rate investments, and the challenges and opportunities that lenders and borrowers face in receiving and placing these sorts of investments. How can Foundations work together to break down barriers and stimulate greater investment in sustainable food systems? Part of Confluence Philanthropy’s MRI in Sustainable Fisheries and Food Systems Series, we discussed the various cash vehicles for investment, including cash deposits, PRI, and how grants can provide capacity to these organizations.
May 22 – 24, 2012 in Asheville, North Carolina
2012 Food & Community Convening - Assembly Required: Working Better Together Toward a Good Food Future for All
May 18 – 20, 2012 in Monterey, California
Cooking for Solutions Conference
Marketplace sustainability desk reporter Eve Troeh conducted an interview of Elizabeth during a plenary session entitled “Funding a Sustainable Future” at this event’s Sustainable Foods Institute on Friday, May 18th. The main conference consisted of three days of fun opportunities to enjoy great chefs, fine food and wine, and to discover ways to save the oceans—one meal at a time.
Elizabeth was part of the planning committee for the Accelerating Community Capital Intensive on Wednesday, May 16th, and the Accelerating Community Capital track at the main conference. More than 700 of the world’s most innovative community leaders, entrepreneurs, independent business owners, policymakers, economic development professionals, funders and investors gathered for BALLE’s 10 year anniversary in Grand Rapids. More details about the conference agenda can be found here.
February 26, 2012 in Berkeley, CA
Progressive Opportunities Conference
Elizabeth gave a presentation as part of the “Finance for Local (Food) Economies” sessions at this sold-out event, covering a variety of tools that entrepreneurs can use to raise financing from their community members. Over the course of both sessions, she highlighted opportunities including online crowdfunding platforms, peer-to-peer lending sites, community-based fundraising models, and methods for formalizing friends and family loans.
The East Bay Express, who helped organize the conference, called Elizabeth “one of the most dynamic speakers at the event,” and called out these sessions as “particularly inspiring.” Read the entire review here.
February 9, 2012 in Point Reyes Station (West Marin County), CA
The Inspired Business Plan Series
Elizabeth co-presented a two-hour workshop on “How to Fund Your Business Venture.” This was the fourth event in the Inspired Business Plan Series.
November 5 – 8, 2011 in Oakland, California.
15th Annual CFSC Conference, Food Justice: Honoring our Roots, Growing the Movement
Elizabeth designed and co-presented a workshop entitled “Money, power and the class dynamics of fundraising,” which took place on Tuesday, November 8th.
The workshop description asked: “Want to develop a deeper understanding of the fundraising process and purpose? Got strong feelings and attitudes about money, power, and class dynamics?” Through art, interactive exercises, and pair sharing, participants in this workshop unpacked money myths and stories while learning community-building fundraising skills in a supportive, confidential space.
Food hubs hold great promise as a key component of a sustainable, regional food system. They do face challenges, however. For one, most food hub models require significant infrastructure, which can make starting or expanding operations difficult or impossible without external capital.
Fortunately, being innovative triple bottom line businesses, qualifying food hubs can have a number of opportunities to access that capital. But where specifically should a hub look? Grants? Loans? PRIs? Investors? What is available, and which are good opportunities? Under what conditions Is it wise for a hub to take out a loan? How should hubs present themselves to have the best chance for success? Does a beginning hub have different opportunities than a more mature hub? Are grants only available to nonprofit hubs or can for profit hubs and co-ops also access grants?
On October 20, the National Food Hub Collaboration assembled a panel of funding experts – including Elizabeth – to illustrate the many conventional and unconventional ways food hubs can secure needed capital. Three hubs from across the country, each quite different from each other, described their operation and their capital needs. Then our expert panel advised each hub in turn on how to best access grants, loans, and other creative financing sources appropriate to that hub (and those similar to that hub).
You can watch the recording, download the slides, and learn more about the presenters here.
October 12-14 in San Francisco, CA
Slow Money 3rd National Gathering
Elizabeth designed and co-presented the “Show Me the Money: Capital Opportunities for Businesses” panel.
Entrepreneurs have more financing options than ever before to raise capital for our businesses. But how can we choose which are a good fit for our businesses if we don’t know that half of them exist, much less how they work? In this session, finance industry experts painted a picture of the ever-evolving capital markets landscape, identifying the many financing options available, from local versions of traditional debt and equity, to newfangled revenue sharing and crowdfunding models, and beyond. This panel was designed for entrepreneurs seeking capital.
June 21-24, 2011 in Minneapolis, MN
Sustainable Ag & Food Systems Funders Forum: Creativity at the River’s Edge, Funding change in food & farming systems
Elizabeth designed the event’s Next Generation Philanthropy workshop.
June 14-17, 2011 in Bellingham, WA:
Living Economies 2011 BALLE Business Conference: Place Matters
“The New Economy is being shaped at the grassroots level. Connect, share and learn from 700 pioneering business owners and investors, elected officials, philanthropists, economic development professionals and BALLE network leaders as we spotlight the most innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to growing healthy, resilient local economies.”
Elizabeth is part of BALLE’s Community Capital advisory committee. She moderated two consecutive panels on Friday the 17th: the first a presentation of the many financing options available to businesses that support local living economies, and the second an Q&A opportunity for participants to workshop their specific fundraising challenges with the capital markets experts.
Accelerating Community Capital Intensive (part of the BALLE conference)
“This hands-on workshop will use place as the lens to understand how to meet regional needs with regional resources, and identify the kinds of capital needed to get there. The day will feature some fifteen of the most promising pilot projects and innovators developing models for connecting regional investors with regional businesses. Participants will group themselves by region to jointly create plans to catalyze community capital in their areas.”
Elizabeth shared the Master of Ceremonies role for this event with Michael Shuman of BALLE. She also moderated a panel of three community capital innovators who shared their personal experiences using place as their investment lens. Each of these pioneers combines philanthropy, equity, loans, and capacity support to grow thriving, local networks of entrepreneurs, using regional resources to meet regional needs.
April 19-21 in Detroit, MI:
Making Good Food Work
“A three-day participatory conference and incubation laboratory designed to develop innovative solutions and document best practices for distributing local and regional food, with a focus on underserved communities.”
Elizabeth co-led a both a workshop (“Access to Capital – Where to find it, how to qualify”) and an issue-based team that collected several resources related to raising capital, including groundbreaking information on using USDA programs to benefit food hubs.
March 29, 2011 in Watsonville, CA:
California Farmlink’s Farm Finance Expo: Resources for Financing Your Farm Business
“One stop shopping for agricultural loans”
Elizabeth gave a presentation focusing on micro- and social network-based lending.
On February 12, 2011, Elizabeth Ü of Finance for Food spoke at TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” in New York City. This one-day TEDx event explored the US food system — from what happened, to where we are, to what we are doing to change to a more sustainable way of eating and farming. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The Glynwood Institute for Sustainable Food and Farming was the lead sponsor for “Changing the Way We Eat.”