Raising capital isn’t a skill that comes naturally to many young food and fibre businesses but a new initiative is looking to increase capability among the sector to support growth and expansion.

We understand the seasonality of the food and fibre sector creates unique challenges for young businesses trying to grow and there are sufficient knowledge gaps when it comes to raising capital. This is why we’ve partnered with MPI to develop and deliver an innovative programme called Investment Ready. Why?

To develop and  support capital raising capability in  food and fibre businesses who are ready to seek investment.

“There are a number of different government funding opportunities for projects in the early stages but we recognised there was a gap between government grant funding and the private sector funding,” says MPI Commercial Manager Andrew Clark.

“So we wanted to find a way to help meritable businesses get some hands-on guidance and training to become investment ready.”

The aim of the programme is to build confidence and capability within young businesses to pitch to investment sources to sell their ideas through their passion and vision. It is funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and delivered by us at The Factory. We have over 18 years hands-on experience working within the rural sector and understand its unique challenges.

The Factory
Investment Ready powered by MPI and The Factory is designed to equip food and fibre businesses with the tools to prepare for and successfully raise investment capital for business growth.

“Within the programme we are also supporting alignment between those seeking funding and investors,” Andrew explains.

“It’s not just getting the business some money, it’s getting the right strategic investor network aligned with that business with complimentary interests and skills.”

It boils down to developing the businesses we work with and the people within them by provide a different level of support than the sector has seen previously.

“Food and fibre businesses don’t get the same type of support technology or software businesses have,” says MPI Director Investment, Skills and Performance Cheyne Gillooly.

“Investment Ready supports entrepreneurs directly to increase their reach and capability and it will help raise the profile of the new and novel opportunities that are in the sector.”

The programme compliments MPI’s ‘Opportunity grows here’ campaign that is targeting attracting new talent into the food and fibre sector. It also supports the ambitious growth strategy between MPI and industry, ‘Fit for a better world,’ which overlaps with skills attraction as well as increasing access to capital for food and fibre companies.

“It all ties in together well. The campaign explores opportunities to attract skills and people in new roles that will be required to meet the food and fibre challenges into the future and Investment Ready will help bring those to the surface,” Cheyne says.

“The ultimate goal is more investment into New Zealand’s food and fibre sector. The need has been clearly demonstrated by how quickly the programme has found its place and received support, with the quality of the businesses attracted to the programme far exceeding expectations.”

Applications for the programme close 8 February 2023. Apply here.

Insights from the team at The factory.

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