Summary of Video
Elizabeth Ü, author of “Raising Dough,” provides a helpful framework for thinking about appropriate financing sources for enterprises. Gray Harris explains CEI’s investment strategies in regional food systems. The video is brought to you courtesy of the National Good Food Network.
This presentation is similar to more intensive iteration created by Ms. Ü for two events hosted by Slow Money NYC on June 10, 2013: (1) Northeast Food Finance Work Group at Neighborhood Preservation Center (sponsored by Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders) and (2) Finance for Food Business at The Moderns.
Elizabeth Ü has spent the last decade working to bring down the barriers that prevent sustainable food entrepreneurs from solving social and environmental problems. Founder and executive director of the nonprofit Finance for Food, Elizabeth regularly delivers workshops on the intersecting topics of community capital, impact investing, food entrepreneurship, and sustainable food systems at conferences geared toward business owners, funders, institutional and individual investors, nonprofits, technical assistance providers, and academic audiences. Previously, she served on the management team at RSF Social Finance, where she helped launch a loan fund for high impact food businesses. She has also served on staff at the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and Slow Money, which was then a project of Investors’ Circle.
Gray Harris is the Director of Sustainable Agriculture at CEI, a community development financial institution in rural Maine. She coordinates business technical assistance and aligns financing with local food system businesses—from farmers to retailers—in Maine and the northeast. She participates in numerous action-oriented agricultural initiatives statewide, is on the steering committee of Slow Money Maine, and pretty much loves anything to do with food.