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Fields of Investment

for Tomorrow (FIT)


Exploration of emerging models and possible solutions to improve access to funding
for biofood social innovation initiatives

À propos

Through Fields of Investment for Tomorrow (FIT), we seek to collectively explore and create solutions to improve access to financing and the development of agri-food social innovation initiatives.

The project was created out of the realization that conventional forms of financing often have blind spots with respect to the specificities of agri-food social innovation projects and at certain stages of their development.

Objective

The main objective of the project is to better understand, track and demonstrate the impact and viability of innovative business models in agri-food. From 2021 to 2023, we will prioritize those related to physical food infrastructure supporting local food systems.


What is social innovation

in agri-food?

“Social innovation in agri-food consists of a new idea, approach or intervention, a new service, a new product, or a new law, a new type of organization in the food ecosystem that promotes, more adequately and more sustainably than existing solutions, the establishment of a sustainable food system, a solution that has found traction within an institution, organization, or community, and which produces a measurable benefit for the community and not just for certain individuals.”

Source: Codefinition from Récolte Collective (2019). Innovation sociale au menu (French only). p.28 and inspired by the Déclaration québécoise pour l’IS, RQIS, 2011

Our Latest Activities

Funding ecosystem guide for agri-food start-up projects

Contexte Love money Grants and contests Private investors Government funding Conventional funding Other funding Récolte Collective’s offer ContextGaining access to financing is one of the major challenges faced by agri-food social innovation initiatives. While numerous opportunities exist in the market, many entrepreneurs still struggle to find the financing they need: namely, patient capital that aligns

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Funding ecosystem guide for agri-food start-up projects

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BACKGROUND

Since 2017, initially through the creation of a "Slow Money" working committee, Collectif Récolte has been addressing financing issues specific to the agri-food sector in Quebec. The Slow Money Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to catalyzing the flow of capital to local food systems, connecting investors to the places where they live, and promoting new principles of fiduciary responsibility that "bring money down to earth."

Project Story

2017

Creation of the Slow Money committee named Réseau d'argent pas pressé

2018

First pilot project

2018 - 2019

Project pitch to Réseau Micro-Entreprendre, TIESS, McConnell Foundation

2020 - 2021

Characterization study of the financing ecosystem of innovative models in the agri-food sector in Québec Funded by McConnell Foundation

Depuis janvier 2021

Discussion with potential partners to develop a working committee

Octobre 2021

Launch of the working committee

Novembre 2021

Conferences and workshops on emerging financing as part of the Flourish series

Working committee

We have assembled a diverse group of stakeholders and experts from the worlds of impact finance, philanthropy and the social economy to support our work on the FIT.

Gaëtan Cirefice

Director, Management and Financing in Social Economy, PME Montréal

Gaëtan initially graduated with a master’s degree in biology during an exchange program between McGill University in Montreal and Université de Lille in France. By chance, he crosse the path of social economy in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district when he participated in the creation of a work cooperative in 2005. Having acquired a taste for social economy and not wanting to stop there, he then went on to create two more coops in 2009 and 2013. In 2015, he took the helm of a young food solidarity cooperative in Montreal-North. He developed it from the pre-start-up phase to an expansion phase, in which he, with the help from a network of local partners, participates in the implementation of two structuring initiatives for the citizens of the borough: the Système Alimentaire pour Tous and the Marchés du Nord. Hoping to complement his field experience, he then undertook studies in business management at HEC Montréal. Driven by the desire to help others in the realization of their business plan, he carries social economy in his heart and promotes it everywhere he goes!


Alain-Olivier Desbois

CO-FOUNDER, ELEMENTS FINANCIAL

Coming soon

 

Erwan Dufour

Founder, Ma Belle Terre

Lover of beautiful products and passionate about entrepreneurship, Erwan has worked for nearly 10 years in the organization, conceptualization and marketing of culinary events in Europe and Quebec. Captivated by Quebec terroir and concerned about the challenges facing the agri-food sector, he founded Ma Belle Terre in January 2021, the first crowdfunding platform entirely dedicated to agricultural and food projects in Quebec. Through his work, he endeavours to make a unique contribution to the the development of a more sustainable and autonomous agricultural system in Quebec.

Julie Favreau

Director, strategic Division, BRODEUR FRENETTE

Specialist in urban revitalization and real estate development, Julie Fravreau-Lavoie implements creative projects with economic and social value in her role as project manager and development officer. Her cross-sectional vision of projects and her multidisciplinary approach helps her to adequately counsel her partners and clients on the subjects of governance, project management and business models. Strengthened by her training in strategic management from Harvard University, Mrs Favreau-Lavoie is a member of the Barreau du Québec. She is actively involved within her community by participating in the board of administrators of Esplanade Montréal and Atelier B21

Charles Gagnon

development officer, CHANTIER DE L'ÉCONOMIE SOCIALE

Mr. Gagnon holds a master's degree in Law and Collective Enterprise Management and has expertise in concerted territorial development, as well as in the support and financing of social economy initiatives.He has 20 years of experience in the social economy, including more than 15 in supporting businesses and movements, particularly within a Community Economic Development Corporation Corporation de développement économique communautaire, CDEC)He has been a development agent at the Chantier de l'économie sociale since 2016, where he is notably in charge of supporting new niche markets, the creation of new tools to meet the needs of businesses, as well as the design of new public policies in favor of of the social economy.

 

Pascal Harvey

Director, Development | Urbanism, Sid Lee Architecture & Cabane

Pascal is a sociologist (M.A.) and an urban planner (M.U.P) and has over 15 years of experience in real estate development, in urban planning and in strategic planning with private, parapublic and community sectors. He is a member of the Ordre des Urbanistes du Québec and of the Canadian Institute of Planners. Throughout his career, Pascal has acted as a developer and a consultant, and has worked with a variety of clients, such as Groupe Altus, Rachel Julien, the SHDM and Les Industries Bonneville. His expertise touches financial, economic and regulatory aspects that underline real estate and land realities. He is passionate about emerging modalities that make urban planning more resilient, inclusive and intelligent, and this is what drives his contribution to practices and business models that are better equipped to face modern challenges that cities face. He joined Sid Lee Architecture in 2020 to support the firm in the development of strategic advice in real estate and urban development. Within Sid Lee Architecture, Pascal continues to get involved in a variety of initiatives and projects that address systemic problems that halt the development of resilient and inclusive urban planning practices. On a personal note, Pascal is the father of three kids. He is also a proud member of the Pekukamiulnuatsh Nation. The challenges faced by the First Nations engage him, and he volunteers with initiatives and organizations that address this situation.

Laura Howard

CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND PARTNERSHIPS, COLLECTIF RÉCOLTE

Laura’s drive and passion is in reinforcing local food systems and building thriving local food economies. Having worked for over 15 years with community driven initiatives related to circular economies; social innovation and social entrepreneurship in connection with local food systems development; Laura is passionate about helping those on the ground leading needed change achieve their desired impact.

 

Laurence Levasseur

CO-owner, Ferme Selby Farm

Laurence is the co-owner, with her partner Nicolas Gaudette, of Selby Farm, in Bunham, Eastern Townships. They operate a small-scale pasture-based rustic breed pig farm since 2013. Laurence comes from a family of agricultural entrepreneur apple-growers. She is a Université de Montréal graduate in languages and anthropology. She is very involved in her community. Amongst other realizations, she co-founded a cooperative of agricultural producers, for which she is the actual president: Coopérative le Terroir solidaire. She also sits on the board of directors for the artistic organization Adélard, in Frelighsburg, and the the board of directors for the Caisse Desjardins de Brome-Missisquoi.

Manda Razafimahefa

program manager, Nourish innovation, Collectif Récolte

With a background in finance, Manda wanted to give meaning to her career, so she turned towards sustainable development. With a master's degree in management and sustainable development, Manda is particularly interested in social entrepreneurship, management models in social innovation, and alternative financing methods. Manda has several years of experience coaching entrepreneurs, managing projects, and impact investing. She is interested in adopting a systemic approach to act effectively on food security issues.

Partners