New Entrant Financing

Our goal is to help encourage the development of financing programs that support new entrants, re-strategizing farmers and exiting farmers.

We have found that young and new Canadian new entrants struggle to access the kind of capital and support necessary to establish a viable farm operation, grow their business, or scale up their operations effectively.

Small-diversified farm operations are not often recognized by traditional lenders and the new farmers face the challenges of a innovative start up – they don’t have a track record or any assets. Even if they are successful in accessing financing for a farm property, and lines of credit based on their ‘pre-farming’ job, they rely heavily on any number of credit cards for operating capital. They cannot access appropriate operating capital so they can invest in what they need to make their farm businesses a success.

These farmers need access to small amounts of operating capital, they need some training in how to effectively handle credit, record keeping and ongoing business assessment and planning, they need access to on going production support so they can continue to farm better, and they need reasonable expectations for returns on investment in their farm.

We would suggest the following way to help finance a new generation of farmers:

  1. Shared savings program for new farmers (similar to an RESP)
  2. Exiting farmer pension plan (which will allow a farmer to not use their farm as their retirement fund)
  3. Establishment and start up grants (see Quebec’s establishment grants)
  4. Small operating capital loans and loan guarantees (character based equity financing)
  5. Adjust Federal Business Risk Programs to make them more accessible to new farmers and to support more, smaller farmers

 

Current Project: Social Equity Financing For New Farmers

We are working with partners to:

  1. Assess the needs of new farm entrants who have little collateral or track record, but have a passion, drive and entrepreneurial spirit
  2. Create a loan program that supports their needs for operating capital as they re-strategize and establish new farm businesses
  3. Generate investment for the loan fund from a wide range of socially motivated investors.

If you are interested in working with us on this initiative or have any questions please contact us at info@farmstart.ca.

 

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