Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Igniting Canada’s Food Sector

by / ⠀Featured News / October 10, 2023
SSFPA Empowering Entrepreneurs

The Small Scale Food Processor Association, or SSFPA, has recently introduced the groundbreaking national training program Venture-Capital Ready: Investment Training for Women Entrepreneurs, in Canada. This initiative has a mission to support women and intersectional entrepreneurs within the food sector who aspire to expand their businesses to meet the growing market demand.

Introduction to Venture-Capital Ready: A Game-Changing Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs

With the backing of the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy’s Inclusive Venture Capital Program, this two-year bilingual project strives to empower participants to advocate for their businesses and attract venture-capital investments through a series of workshops, mentorship opportunities, and networking events. By engaging a diverse team of industry experts and experienced trainers, Venture-Capital Ready aims to create a lasting impact on the Canadian food sector and promote economic growth.

Addressing Gender Inequality in Entrepreneurship: The Current Climate and the Need for Change

In a landscape marked by gender inequality in entrepreneurship, only 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada are predominantly controlled by women. Female entrepreneurs often face difficulties in accessing capital, exhibiting lower propensities to seek debt and equity financing and encountering higher rates of rejection or reduced funding. Ensuring equal and full participation of women in the economy is crucial for Canada’s ongoing competitiveness and success. By breaking down barriers and providing targeted support for female entrepreneurs, Canada can unleash the power of an economic force that, if untapped, would hinder the nation’s progress and innovation. This endeavor includes offering curated programs, mentorships, and financial support to promote women-led businesses and foster inclusivity and equal opportunity across the entrepreneurial landscape.

The Venture-Capital Ready Program: A Comprehensive Approach to Investment Readiness

The Venture-Capital Ready program offers its participants one-on-one coaching, investment readiness training via Dr. Ellen Farrell’s “Investoready” program, and occasions to practice pitching to potential investors. This all-encompassing initiative enables participants to refine their business strategies effectively, hone their pitching skills, and boost their confidence in attracting investors. The insights and experience acquired through the Venture-Capital Ready program are invaluable, as they aid participants in navigating the competitive world of startups and securing the funding necessary to achieve successful growth.

Long-Term Goals: Building a Sustainable and Inclusive Canadian Food System

By early 2025, SSFPA aims to have educated 50 women and intersectional entrepreneurs, equipping them with the knowledge required to partner with investors who share common concerns about Canada’s food system’s challenges. The organization plans to offer comprehensive training and mentorship programs, concentrating on vital areas such as sustainable agriculture, increasing access to healthy food options, and implementing innovative solutions to food waste. By collaborating with industry experts and like-minded partners, SSFPA endeavors to create a thriving community of change-makers devoted to shaping Canada’s food landscape for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

Support from the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Canada

Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada manages the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, which has partially funded the Venture-Capital Ready initiative. This initiative supports and empowers women entrepreneurs by providing the resources and connections necessary to succeed in the competitive environment of venture capital investment. The Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, through offering tailored mentorship and training, fosters collaboration, and innovation for female business leaders across the nation.

The Nationwide Program: Access, Application, and Avenues for Personal Growth

Available nationwide for endorsed participants at no cost, the Venture-Capital Ready program will commence accepting applications on September 18, 2023. This initiative’s objective is to empower individuals by offering valuable resources and opportunities for personal growth. As participants engage in comprehensive workshops, network with industry professionals, and develop essential skills, they enhance their future prospects in the entrepreneurial landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Venture-Capital Ready program?

The Venture-Capital Ready program is a national training initiative introduced by the Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA) in Canada to support women and intersectional entrepreneurs within the food sector. It aims to help them expand their businesses by attracting venture capital investments through workshops, mentorship opportunities, and networking events.

Why is there a need for the Venture-Capital Ready program?

There is a significant gender inequality in entrepreneurship, with only 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada being predominantly controlled by women. Female entrepreneurs often face difficulties in accessing capital, and this program aims to break down barriers, provide targeted support, and promote inclusivity and equal opportunity across the entrepreneurial landscape.

What does the program offer to its participants?

The Venture-Capital Ready program provides participants with one-on-one coaching, investment readiness training via Dr. Ellen Farrell’s “Investoready” program, and opportunities to practice pitching to potential investors. This initiative helps participants refine their business strategies, hone their pitching skills, and boost their confidence in attracting investors.

What are SSFPA’s long-term goals for the program and the Canadian food system?

By 2025, SSFPA aims to educate 50 women and intersectional entrepreneurs and equip them with the knowledge necessary to partner with investors. The organization plans to offer comprehensive training and mentorship programs, focusing on sustainable agriculture, increasing access to healthy food options, and implementing innovative solutions to food waste, aiming to create a thriving community dedicated to shaping Canada’s food landscape for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

How is the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy involved in the program?

Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada manages the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, which has partially funded the Venture-Capital Ready initiative. This initiative supports and empowers women entrepreneurs by providing the resources and connections necessary to succeed in the competitive environment of venture capital investment.

How can interested individuals apply for the Venture-Capital Ready program?

Available nationwide for endorsed participants at no cost, the Venture-Capital Ready program will commence accepting applications on September 18, 2023. Individuals can apply for the program and benefit from its valuable resources and opportunities for personal growth, enhancing their future prospects in the entrepreneurial landscape.

First Reported on: foodengineeringmag.com
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Sueda Dilli; Pexels; Thank you!

About The Author

Kimberly Zhang

Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.

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