New program launched to support entrepreneurs in food and beverage sector

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Windsor Star/Dave Waddell

 

Libro Credit Union is partnering with the Small Business Centres in Windsor, London, St. Thomas and Oxford County on a new initiative to support start-ups in the food and beverage industry.

The Foodpreneur Advantage program is now open for registrations with the first free seminar scheduled for April 8. The program is expected to help 300 people per year.

To register for the seminar visit: foodpreneuradvantage.ca/start-up-seminars.

“Over the past several years we have worked to identify and channel more resources to support our local cluster of food and beverage start-ups by way of mentorship, training, and access to industry experts,” said Sabrina DeMarco, executive director of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Sector.

“Through this collaborative initiative with our regional partners, we are excited to build upon what we have started and to offer expanded ecosystem supports and access to networks to better support the growth and innovation of this sector.”

Among the program’s offerings is a monthly series of introductory seminars and training opportunities.

The 10-week long Foodpreneur Scale-up program will be offered twice a year to groups of 20 businesses that produce packaged goods and show potential for growth. This program will also connect entrepreneurs with industry experts and mentors.

Foodpreneur can trace its roots to a concept FedDev Ontario was developing with the London Small Business Centre. Libro Credit Union, which has invested significantly in southwestern Ontario’s agricultural sector, offered its support to expand the program across the region.

“As our roots are in agriculture, Libro is excited to be a partner in this progressive industry,” said Libro Credit Union CEO Steve Bolton.

“Our credit union has remained committed to agriculture and supports more than 3,200 farm and agri-business owners with world-class financial services including $1.2B in lending to all sectors. This initiative forms another important part of that work.”