I recently discovered a couple recordings of talks I gave when I was in my Finance for Food prime, traveling throughout North America to give keynote presentations and teach workshops on raising money for food businesses.
My book had already been out for a while by then, so I’d had the opportunity to figure out a few things that I hadn’t known yet when I was writing it. More importantly, I’d also given enough presentations (so many!) to learn which things people really wanted to hear about, and what bored people to tears… so I’d like to think that these two videos deliver the best-of-the-best of what I had to offer back then.
Both of these talks were given to audiences of farmers (the Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference and the Virginia Farm to Table conference, respectively), but I made sure to cover financing options for processed food businesses, too… and so many of these options are available to ANY type of business.
If you want to know about your options for raising money for your business and video is your thing, check these out!
I am infinitely grateful for the three years I spent on the staff of RSF Social Finance, a financial services organization that seeks to revolutionize how people relate to money. Leaving that job was one of the most difficult decision I ever made! But I was literally bursting with the book I was ready to write, so leave I did, shedding many tears in the months leading up to and following my departure.
While at RSF, I had the honor of leading the development of their Food System Transformation Fund (although it had a different name then, the Food & Agriculture PRI Fund I think?), a new loan fund supporting high-impact food businesses, funded by foundation investments. You can read more about the impulse behind that fund in Don Shaffer’s reflections on the eve of his departure after 10 years as the President and CEO of this truly unique and inspiring organization.
It’s always a pleasure to serve as a guest on other people’s podcasts. Back in November, Jennifer Lewis interviewed me for the Small Food Business podcast series. They released the episode today, saying:
Many of us start our small businesses with a broader mission or vision for what we’re hoping to achieve beyond just dollars and cents. In today’s podcast, we talk with sustainable small business expert and author Elizabeth Ü about how mission driven businesses can raise the capital they need in an environment that seemingly values the bottom line above all else.
Want to learn more about financing your business, working with co-packers, marketing for increased sales, working with retailers, and more… from a group of kick-ass women who really know what it takes to run a successful food business? Listen to this Commonwealth Club recording of a recent event titled Good Food, Great Business: How Food Startups Take Good Ideas from Concept to Success.
As executive director of Finance for Food, I was interviewed by a number of radio shows that wanted their listeners to know more about how to raise money for socially responsible food businesses… and values-based business in general. While not all of the stations have kept their archives available for listening, the live links below led to listenable files as of February 2017.
The capital markets space has changed a lot since May of 2011, when I gave this particular talk, but the main concepts are still the same. Bottom line? Get really clear on your values BEFORE you set about raising money for your business, and then find financing partners who are aligned with those values.