Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business

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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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (June 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603584285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603584289
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

Customer Reviews

MUST read for all emerging and accomplished entrepreneurs

8 helpful votes
 on August 12, 2013
By Julie
As owner of a very successful cafe (7.5 years this writing) and founder of our town’s local first movement, I can only imagine how many thousands of dollars I could have saved and natural conflict I could have avoided with just the first three chapters alone. There is no other book that compares to this, which contains the absolute leading edge of information in a rapidly evolving field. I have spent countless hours researching many of the different aspects of this book, and now it is all neatly compiled into a practical, information rich and easy to understand book for the emerging foodpreneur or seasoned social entrepreneur/activists looking to reorganize, grow or evolve their concept to the next thing. When people like Elizabeth U are in the sweet spot of influencing so many people in our economic climate, I have way more than just hope for the future. “Raising Dough” is a very grounded book bringing pragmatic and practical practices into a new business culture that is helping co-create the “more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” (Charles Eisenstein).

Five Stars

1 helpful vote
 on March 4, 2017
By A. Loret de Mola
Good, specific advice on a variety of subjects related to fundraising and starting your business.

Excellent book for funding resources for small farms.

3 helpful votes
 on July 29, 2013
By Melinda Pereira
Great book for anyone considering starting a small farm or any kind of farming venture. Lots of resources available for financing.


1 helpful vote
 on September 11, 2014
By Todd J Mills
Great read. Very informative and easy to follow for aspiring food entrepreneurs.

Raising awareness.

1 helpful vote
 on August 12, 2016
I really enjoyed reading about the various ways people made it happen.

Five Stars

1 helpful vote
 on February 11, 2016
By Nancy B. Driscoll
Lots of good, practical ideas.

Five Stars

1 helpful vote
 on November 18, 2014
By Caitlin B Flaherty
An excellent read for such technical information. I highly recommend this book. It’s an invaluable resource!

Elizabeth U’s RAISING DOUGH Is an Invaluable Resource For Entrepreneurs

4 helpful votes
 on September 6, 2013
By Cyrus Webb
This book had me at the title: RAISING DOUGH. What Elizabeth U has done with this resource goes above and beyond anything I could have expected when it came to a guide for food businesses. This is really a must-have for anyone who is looking to do something in business and is wondering not just where to start but what resources might be available for them.

Raising Dough Raises Hopes for Financing Food Initiatives

4 helpful votes
 on June 29, 2013
By Jan
Having met Michael Shuman , the author of the foreword of this book by Elizabeth U, my interest was high from the beginning of reading this book. I was not disappointed. With my background in investments, Slow Money, and local food, this book is NEEDED! I have referred many to it already. This is understandable for all! But it is especially understandable because the author understands what is happening in the local food industry today and how important the need for financing information is. I would love to read more by the author and Michael Shuman!

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