Coordinate a Harve$t Impact Fund to support circular enterprises
Great ideas need funding to become reality. This project will help circular food businesses and collaborations attract financial support. The Harve$t Impact Project will act as a matchmaker, connecting investors with change-makers who are applying circular ideas, data and technology to food problems. A team of Harve$t Project Advisors will help entrepreneurs access grants, loans, prizes or venture capital. The Harve$t Impact Fund will also provide non-repayable start-up capital to high-potential projects.
Through this expanded and connected local financial marketplace, we will ensure a variety of businesses are developed, social goals are supported (and measured) and success leads to further success. Ultimately, the Harve$t Impact Project will enable the long-term sustainability of Our Food Future by offering innovative projects clear paths to investment. To support future generations of circular food businesses, we envision that all ventures involved in Our Food Future will invest in the Harve$t Impact Fund, either through a percentage of sales or profits or an annual contribution, membership or donation.
What else is happening in Guelph-Wellington?
The Upcycle Kitchen
One of the first projects to be supported by the iHub and Harve$t Impact Fund is the Upcycle Kitchen: a venture that produces value-added products made from food that would otherwise go to waste. The facility will be run by The SEED, a Guelph-based community food project, and staffed by youth who are currently out of school and unemployed. Profits generated by the Upcycle Kitchen will support youth employment and training programs.
The Upcycle Kitchen will provide commercial kitchen and processing facilities for food businesses that create value-added products from rescued food. The innovation model will leverage foodrescue.ca, a platform developed by Second Harvest that connects businesses that have food surpluses to agencies that can put them to good use.