Release date: September 22, 2023
Territorial Agrifood Association to offer
VENTURE-CAPITAL READY: INVESTMENT TRAINING FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
[Yellowknife, NT] The Territorial Agrifood Association (TAA) is pleased to announced it has joined with the Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA) as a partner in the launch of Venture-Capital Ready: Investment Training for Women Entrepreneurs. This new national training program is aimed at food industry women/intersectional entrepreneurs looking to scale up their businesses to meet market demand and gain investment. The TAA is focussed on bringing this program to the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavaut.
This two-year program, funded by the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy’s Inclusive Venture Capital Program, will empower women food business owners with the skills and confidence to present themselves and their businesses for venture-capital investment.
“Statistics Canada shows us that even though women start businesses at a greater rate than men, women-owned businesses still account for less than 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada and only 11% of all exporters. In the NWT though, 19.1% of SME’s are women owned. This program will help those women business owners continue to beat the odds by growing their businesses for investment.” Says Janet Dean, Executive Director of the Territorial Agrifood Association. “We have unique challenges in our food sector in the north and strong food businesses can help us tackle those challenges and improve our food supply, even ultimately impacting food security.”
Women food entrepreneurs in the Canadian North often lack access to networks and mentors; information and market intelligence; domestic and global value chains and outside investment.
With one-on-one coaching, investment readiness training through financial expert Dr. Ellen Farrell’s Investoready© program, a cohort of like-minded food entrepreneurs, and the opportunity to practice their pitch to investors, women entrepreneurs will be ready to meet interested investors primed by venture capital sector organizations SVX and Movement 51.
By the end of the project in early 2025, the Venture Capital Ready Program is positioned to have trained 50 women/ intersectional entrepreneurs across Canada , equipping them with the know-how to scale their businesses with interested investors who themselves are concerned about the issues facing Canada’s food system. “We know there are women entrepreneurs in the North who can be part of this success story. There is a place for you. ’” says Dean.
Pamela Baxter, President of the Board of the Small Scale Food Processor Association, is excited about what this program will bring. “This Venture-Capital Ready Program is critical for women food entrepreneurs who are otherwise stymied and consigned to remain small,” says Baxter. “When these women with healthy innovative products are ready to grow, they need information, coaching and support to leap over the financing hurdle that has traditionally been almost impossible to surmount.” Dean adds,” Having a good product isn’t enough when you are looking to grow your business, women entrepreneurs need to position their business for investment and that generally means outside help. Here it is.”
This program is offered free of charge for participants nationwide upon acceptance. Women/intersectional entrepreneurs are simply asked to agree to complete the program in its entirety. Applications openned on September 18, 2023.
For more information on the program and application, visit the Venture-Capital Ready website. If you are an investor interested in learning more about the project, contact Sandy Mark, Project Manager, at WI@ssfpa.net. For NWT program inquiries, contact Janet Dean, executive Director, Territorial Agrifood Association, email@example.com.
About the TAA
The Territorial Agrifood Association (TAA) is a non-governmental, non-profit Northwest Territories organization, formed in 2020 to represent the interests of members of the agri-food value chain across the territory and to promote and build the agrifood sector in the NWT.
About the SSFPA
The Small Scale Food Processor Association is a national trade association of processors, growers, and suppliers of food and agricultural products. The SSFPA provides leadership, education, marketing, networking, and advocacy to foster success in a competitive global market. In 2018, the SSFPA launched their Women's Initiative, which seeks to mitigate the issues within the food processing industry that affect women entrepreneurs more deeply.