Chelsea Green Publishing

Raising Dough

Pages:288 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603584289
Pub. Date June 13, 2013

Raising Dough

The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business

By Elizabeth Ü
Foreword by Michael Shuman

Business & Economy

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
June 13, 2013


More and more entrepreneurs are using food-based businesses to solve social and environmental problems - and yet the majority of them report that a lack of access to capital prevents them from launching, maintaining, or growing their ventures. Raising Dough is an unprecedented guide to the full range of financing options available to support sustainable food businesses.

Raising Dough provides valuable insights into the world of finance, including:

  • Descriptions of various capital options, including traditional debt and equity, government grant and loan programs, and cutting-edge models such as crowdfunding and community-based alternatives
  • Guiding questions to help determine which capital options are the most appropriate given the size, stage, entity type, growth plans, mission, and values of an enterprise
  • Case studies and testimonials highlighting the experiences of food system entrepreneurs who have been there before, including both success stories and cautionary tales
  • Referrals to sources of capital, financiers, investor networks, and other financial resources.

Written primarily for people managing socially responsible food businesses, the resources and tips covered in this book will benefit social entrepreneurs - and their investors - working in any sector.


“Starting a food business? Raising Dough provides an extremely useful roadmap through the financial landscape. This is a wonderful overview of the tools and techniques for capitalizing your small food enterprise.”--Woody Tasch, chairman, Slow Money, and author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money

“Enterprise and money are a representation of spirit, values, and responsibility for the whole. This book provides valuable financial guidance for entrepreneurs who are building the companies that are vital to a sustainable society. Elizabeth Ü offers important insight for a new era of good business.”--Joel Solomon, chairman, Renewal Funds 

“In this book, Elizabeth tells the revealing truth of what it takes to raise capital for mission-driven food businesses and the extraordinary creativity and perseverance required to succeed. Her book also shares inspiring stories about entrepreneurs who are making breakthroughs and innovations in fundraising. No one who is thinking about starting and raising money for a food business should do so without first reading this book.” --Brahm Ahmadi, CEO and president, People’s Community Market

“Great business ideas need money behind them, and Elizabeth Ü shows us how to attract and steward investors who are looking beyond profit and toward the benefits that a mission-driven business brings to the community it serves. I wish this book had been around when we were looking for equity investors in Cowgirl Creamery.”--Sue Conley, cofounder, Cowgirl Creamery

“Elizabeth has written an absolutely critical book for social entrepreneurs. She provides a unique perspective on how different kinds of capital can be blended and sequenced. If you are not familiar with how to attract grants, low-interest loans, equity, loan guarantees, etc., to grow your business, you’ll find this to be a hugely valuable investment in yourself. Read it, use it!”--Don Shaffer, president and CEO, RSF Social Finance

“The foundation of a new economy is an equitable society that values everyone. Localists know this requires working on multiple fronts, and community capital is one of the most important. Elizabeth’s book covers the many ways to connect any local businesses—not only those related to food—with local lenders, investors, and donors.”--Michelle Long, executive director, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

Raising Dough is an invaluable resource for socially minded farmers and food entrepreneurs. Elizabeth Ü’s clear-eyed, nuts-and-bolts advice demonstrates that, like food, finance can be sustainable, too.”--Amy Cortese, author of Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It

“As a food entrepreneur, I learned how challenging it is not only to find money but to find the right money. Elizabeth’s book is an important tool to help food entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses in a way that supports their vision—so that their food start-ups can thrive and change the world.”--Sheryl O’Loughlin, executive director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, cofounder and former CEO, Nest Collective (now Plum, Inc.), and former CEO, Clif Bar & Company

“Successfully financing food enterprises is paramount to building a just, fair, and healthy food system. Elizabeth’s book shows us how to get it done. Raising Dough is an excellent addition to the literature of the sustainable food movement.”--LaDonna Redmond, executive director, The Campaign for Food Justice Now

“Elizabeth Ü has created a formidable one-stop guide to the brass tacks of building a successful sustainable food business. For everyone who’s ever wanted to turn their passion for sustainable food into a thriving business, this book is for you.”--Anna Lappé, founder Real Food Media Project and author, Diet for a Hot Planet

“Where has this book been all my life? This step-by-step guidebook to financing food businesses is vitally needed today. In this rapidly evolving field, Raising Dough is a key contribution.”--Marjorie Kelly, Tellus Institute fellow and author of Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution


Elizabeth Ü

Elizabeth Ü is executive director of Finance for Food, a nonprofit that educates food-system entrepreneurs in the United States about the full range of financing options available to support them. Elizabeth has extensive experience at the intersection of sustainable food systems and social finance—helping food-based business owners identify appropriate—and mission-aligned—financing opportunities based on their unique situations and values.

Elizabeth previously served as manager of strategic development at RSF Social Finance, helping launch a loan fund to support high-impact, sustainable food ventures. She has served on staff at the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), and spent two years as program officer of Slow Money, then a project of Investors' Circle. Elizabeth regularly speaks and gives workshops on the topics of impact investing, social finance, and sustainable food systems at conferences geared toward foundations, financiers, investors, philanthropists, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurs.

A Food and Community Fellow of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Elizabeth holds a BS in geography from McGill University and an MBA in sustainable management from Presidio Graduate School. She lives in San Francisco, California.



Slow Money Minute

Elizabeth U - Financing Food Systems

Money's Many Shades of Green: Elizabeth U at TEDxManhattan

Money's Many Shades of Green: Elizabeth U at TEDxManhattan


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