When I get to host a room of 30 local entrepreneurs, it’s a good day. It’s an even better day when those same entrepreneurs raise their hands to affirm that they would love local investment to grow and strengthen the work that they do. That is exactly what happened during our Local Food Finance dialogue on February 2nd. While our small sampling of local food-based entrepreneurs doesn’t represent the full extent of what is happening here in Atlanta, it does provide us with some insight and feedback.
Here are a few lessons learned from the evening:
- Locally focused investment, whether philanthropic or profit seeking, has become a powerful issue in recent years.
- There are a growing number of both tech tools and in-person services providing small and medium scale businesses with financial options
- Many of these tools are new to the Atlanta market and while well received, are not well known
- The entrepreneurs present were very interested in seeking sound advice on business plans and investment strategies, yet there were not many known experts in this field. There is a need for niche experts who can help small business entrepreneurs, including those in food, achieve good business acumen and identify sound financial growth tools.
Our experience with this event and others like it only strengthens our resolve to make Atlanta into a welcoming and rich environment for social entrepreneurs and impact investors alike.