The women’s project was aimed at uncovering and identifying the issues facing women ssfp’s looking for money for their business. Many small and many system level issues are revealed. We know that women need to increase their ‘Financial Confidence’ and prepare themselves to go forward for financing and we are building tools to assist them. However, the issues operating at the Food System level are more daunting and play out on an everyday basis.
We are doing something about as many of these issues as possible within the time and resources available to us. To organize our thoughts and actions, we have designed an ‘Ecosystem’ of needed support to guide our planning.
Because we set up an Advisor Panel from across the country, we have found that the problems facing women ssfp’s are the same across Canada. We also found that the SSFPA is the only organization focused entirely on assisting start-up and scale-up food entrepreneurs…many organizations assisting entrepreneurs will provide help to ssfp’s but most do not have the depth of knowledge or experience that the SSFPA has gathered. As a result, we are considering how to take on the nation-wide mandate that has been part of the organization’s positioning from the beginning in 2002. Rather than trying to form a formal national organization, we intend to build our partnerships and create a sharing network so that all organizations concerned with supporting food entrepreneurship can benefit from the Ecosystem of supports as they emerge.