Venture-Capital Ready Program

Women Enterprise Strategy for women-led food processing businesses

Farm Food Drink has long cheered for Canadian women in food businesses.

Over the years, we’ve worked closely with these passionate food entrepreneurs, providing them with the paths and processes to create sustainable businesses. Our workshops, coaching, branding and special programs (Food Business Refresh, Lean Stream Marketing, and Food Business Planning) have prepared our clients to rock the food world — and rock it, they have.

We’ve also observed that the majority of Canada’s small-scale food businesses are woman-owned — and over 65 per cent of our projects are piloted by women. Whether these entrepreneurs are recreating traditional marinades or developing new cheese recipes or channeling honey into soothing lip balms, we’ve been there to proudly support them as they grow.

In fact, women-led food businesses are the very fabric of who Farm Food Drink is, and what we believe in.

 And so, we are delighted to announce our participation in Venture-Capital Ready: Investment Training for Women Entrepreneurs (VC Ready).

VC Ready is an innovative Canadian program to train women/intersectional entrepreneurs to scale up their food businesses through venture capital financing. Funded through the federal government’s Women Enterprise Strategy and supported by the national Small Scale Food Processors Association, VC Ready not only introduces participants to the world of investment financing, but shows them how to negotiate investor meetings — in particular the all-important investor question-and-answer session, often designed to trip up the unwary entrepreneur.

Venture-Capital Ready Team

VC Ready has now engaged an impressive team of business coaches, venture capital experts, and communications specialists to train women entrepreneurs beginning in September 2023. As for Farm Food Drink, we’ll provide expert coaching to help women prepare for venture capital and to develop their business plans. For this, we’ve gathered a crack team of professionals:

Sheena Gnos

Venture-Capital Ready Team Leader: Project Manager and Farm Food Drink Operations & Projects

A details-oriented project manager, technical wizard and expert communicator, Sheena is the hub for all things Farm Food Drink. Her work with Venture-Capital Ready includes liaising with the program’s many partners, overseeing work done for the project by our marketing team and providing strategic planning to market the new program.

Cheryl Farmer

Venture-Capital Ready Team Leader: Program Manager and Coach

Formerly a senior business advisor with BC’s WeBC, Cheryl in her new role continues to help women lead and grow their own businesses. As Program Manager for Venture-Capital Ready, she draws upon her extensive background as an adult educator to train women entrepreneurs in financing readiness and skills development, and to provide one-on-one guidance when needed. 

Kerry McArthur

Venture-Capital Ready Team Leader: Branding and Communications Specialist

With 30+ years experience in business and non-profit communications, Kerry works with the Venture-Capital Ready/Farm Food Drink team to provide brand, marketing and communication advice. Having left Alberta for the Kootenays eight years ago, she’s since learned much about the energy and commitment of food producers in BC.

Tammi Hall

Venture-Capital Ready/Farm Food Drink Creative Director

As Creative Director and lead graphic designer for both Farm Food Drink and the Venture-Capital Ready program, Tammi brings 20+ years of experience to our team’s table. Her role: to guide branding and marketing at both digital and web levels, and to bring creative brand elements and innovative positioning strategies to the fore.

Greg McLaren

Venture-Capital Ready Partner/Farm Food Drink Founder and Managing Director

With decades of proven industry experience in business development, strategic planning, and marketing, Greg represents a wealth of knowledge on BC’s evolving food economy. Always a keen proponent of women’s entrepreneurship, and with a social purpose to develop local food economies, he welcomes the team’s newest partnership with Venture-Capital Ready.

Heather Nichol

Venture-Capital Ready/Farm Food Drink Client Services

A former food entrepreneur with direct experience in the Canadian food industry, Heather is a communicator, administrator and facilitator par excellence. Participants in the Venture-Capital Ready program will discover Heather to be a knowledgeable networker and a sympathetic ear who can help them track down the resources and contacts they need for this innovative program.