Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers

CAIC’s “Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers” is a comprehensive program that consists of the four parts discussed below.

Each participant in the program must take part in the first three parts of the program to qualify for applying for the program’s fourth part: the Mini-Grants.

Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers

CAIC’s “Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers” is a comprehensive program that consists of the four parts discussed below.

Each participant in the program must take part in the first three parts of the program to qualify for applying for the program’s fourth part: the Mini-Grants.

CAIC VIRTUAL PRESENTATIONS

Part One of the “Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers” Program

Descriptions, dates and times, prerequisites, and criteria for acceptance into the Virtual Presentation are given below. Please register as a CAIC participant here to enroll in these free Virtual Presentations.


All Virtual Presentations will be held via a ZOOM link from 12 NOON to 1:30 PM.

The following Virtual Presentations will be presented on February 8th, 9th, and 10th and February 15th, 16th, and 17th. Participants must be registered with CAIC to qualify for attending the Virtual Presentations.

Attendance at Virtual Presentations is required to continue in CAIC’s “Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers” Program. To register for these Virtual Presentations, please click here

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #1

Developing and Writing Your Business Plan
Tuesday, February 8th

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #2

Funding Sources for Value-Added Producers
Wednesday, February 9th

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #3

Regulations 101; Processes, Licenses, and Permits

Thursday, February 10th

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #4

Creating Your Marketing Plan and Vision
Tuesday, February 15th

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #5

Developing and Positioning Your Brand
Wednesday, February 16th

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #6

Identifying B2B and B2C Growth Opportunities
Thursday, February 17th

Part Two of the “Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers” Program

The second part of the CAIC Program consists of meetings with the Mentors whose Virtual Presentations a Participant attended. These meetings will answer any questions about the Virtual Presentations that apply to a specific Participant’s needs. Information about the Mentors can be found here.

mentors

Registered CAIC participants in the “Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers” Program will be able to schedule sessions with the Mentors after attending the Virtual Presentations part of the Program.

JANNA HOWLEY

Grow & Fortify Areas of Mentorship: Regulations, licensing, and permitting.

Janna Howley, of Annapolis-based Grow & Fortify, focuses on value-added agriculture and aquaculture startups that require mentorship in the areas of government regulations, licensing, packaging, labeling, zoning, and permitting procedures. Although Grow & Fortify specializes in alcoholic beverage producers (breweries, wineries, meaderies), they deal with all value-added producers who need advice on regulations and licensing.

Kim Bryden

founder and CEO of Cureate

Kim Bryden is the founder and CEO of Cureate; Kathleen Overman is the company’s Director of Connection. Cureate is a woman-owned business based in Washington, DC. The company offers strategic counsel to help small businesses navigate shifting consumer tastes and interests in the agriculture and aquaculture food sectors. Mentorship will cover the topics of successful go-to-market strategies, market analysis, sales channels, distribution, and marketing.

Brian k.brown

Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc.

Brian Brown currently serves as the Business Development Manager for the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, (RCAP) Inc. He previously served as Executive Director of the Halifax Industrial Development Authority. Brian’s background includes serving as an economic development professional and having leadership roles in the areas of security, media, real estate, architecture, and engineering

Kathleen Overman

Areas of Mentorship: All phases of marketing; developing sales channels

Kathleen Overman, Director of Connection at Cureate, has more than a decade of community engagement experience. She focuses on local business advocacy in the Mid- Atlantic region. Her work as a field marketing expert in development and grassroot campaigns has brought the products of more than 25 area businesses to more than 50 retail outlets throughout the region. Kathleen is recognized as an invaluable community builder, a facilitator of Cureate Courses, and a provider of one-on-one coaching to entrepreneurs

Akira Morishita

Areas of Mentorship: Business and Marketing plans; business growth strategies.

Akira Morishita is a Senior Management Consultant for the Entrepreneurship Program at Communities Unlimited (CU), one of RCAP’s Regional partners. He works with rural and minority-owned small businesses and assists entrepreneurs in identifying and implementing solutions to start or grow a business. Before joining CU Akira worked with start-up ventures in the areas of operations management and accounting control.

Part Three of the “Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers” Program

The third part of the CAIC Program consists of consultations with Subject Matter Experts. Our SMEs cover many varied areas of interest to Value-Added Producers, and CAIC will provide any additional SMEs necessary to help Participants. Information about the SMEs can be found here.

Part Four of the “Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers” Program

The final part of the CAIC Program is the ability to apply for Mini-Grants to help fund

1) Attendance at Food Safety Classes and

2) Marketing Initiatives.  Information about the Mini-Grants can be found here.

TESTIMONIALS

“Being a small business owner means making a lot of decisions; working with CAIC was a good decision. It has given me both the access to technical & financial resources and the confidence required to level up my business during uncertain times.”
Gayle Galbraith
Founder and CEO at The Federal Brewing Company
“Croppers Farm was greatly helped by participation in the Ag Innovation Center programs last year. The timely, relevant and important information provided was spot on. It was well worth our time and priced (free) right! In these tough times we need all the help we can get. We got it from them.”
Tom & Tina Cropper
Owners at Sweet Gnome
“I definitely gained a number of insights as a result of participating in the CAIC webinars. I’m now able to write up a plan and execute a Value-Added component to my farm business and help other small farmers in my network.”
John B Manirakiza
Farmer at Florencia Farm LLC

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #1

Title: Developing and Writing Your Business Plan

Mentor Company: Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project Inc.
Date and Time of Session: Tuesday, February 8th from 12:00 Noon to 1:30 PM

Length of Session: 1.5 hrs

Course Description: In this course you will develop and write a comprehensive and living business plan to guide you on your path to success. Subject areas include identifying key partners, activities, and resources and determining your cost structure and revenue streams.

Desired Prerequisite Knowledge and Experience of Attendees: Attendees should have a basic knowledge of their business and its characteristics.
Criteria for Acceptance into the Virtual Presentation: No prior business planning experience is required.

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #2

Title: Funding Sources for Value-Added Producers

Mentor Company: Grow and Fortify LLC

Date and Time of Session: Wednesday, February 9th from 12:00 Noon to 1:30 PM

Length of Session: 1.5 hrs

Course Description: When starting a value-added agriculture business it is important to know what funding is available and how to access it. That knowledge, which is presented in this Virtual Presentation, may be an important factor in your success.

Desired Prerequisite Knowledge and Experience of Attendees: Startup attendees shall have started developing a business plan because any commercial lender will want a solid business plan for funding. Attendees who are scaling up their business shall have a business plan and a solid idea of their planned expansion and scaling up costs.

Criteria for Acceptance into the Virtual Presentation: Attendees must have used a standard business plan template from a local economic development office, an SBDC resource, or an agricultural economic development professional.

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #3

Title: Regulations 101; Processes, Licenses, and Permits

Mentor Company: Grow and Fortify LLC

Date and Time of Session: Thursday, February 10th from 12:00 Noon to 1:30 PM

Length of Session: 1.5 hrs

Course Description: This course discusses the many layers of complexity faced by value-added producers who are developing any type of value-added agricultural product.

Desired Prerequisite Knowledge and Experience of Attendees: There are no prerequisites for this Virtual Presentation; however, attendees shall have determined the type of value-added agriculture business they are considering. This Virtual Presentation also may be relevant to existing value-added agriculture producers who are considering scaling up, expanding, or creating additional product lines. This includes agritourism operations, food and non-alcoholic beverage production, forestry and fiber products, certification programs (such are certified organic) to differentiate products, and Community Supported Agriculture programs.

Criteria for Acceptance into the Virtual Presentation: Attendees shall have identified the type of products they would like to produce.

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #4

Title: Creating Your Marketing Plan and Vision

Mentor Company: Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project Inc.
Date and Time of Session: Tuesday, February 15th from 12:00 Noon to 1:30 PM

Length of Session: 1.5 hrs
Course Description: This course will help you produce a comprehensive and living marketing plan to ensure that your marketing efforts produce the maximum results. Subjects covered include understanding market trends, determining your target market, developing a competitive advantage, sales and marketing strategies, and pricing strategies.

Desired Prerequisite Knowledge and Experience of Attendees: Attendees should have a general idea of the characteristics (demographics, buying habits) of their target customer.

Criteria for Acceptance Into the Virtual Presentation: No specific criteria for acceptance.

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #5

Title: Developing and Positioning Your Brand

Mentor Company: Cureate
Date and Time of Session: Wednesday, February 16th from 12:00 Noon to 1:30 PM

Length of Session: 1.5 hrs

Course Description: This presentation discusses the visual elements of brand development – such as font, color, photography, and package design – that go beyond a company’s logo. The presentation also covers how to define a business’s core messaging so that every team member understands and can communicate voice and tone when communicating with customers and the media.

Desired Prerequisite Knowledge and Experience of Attendees: (Idea-Stage Company) Attendees will have a need to explore tools for social media engagement and to determine a strategy to increase engagement on social platforms.
(Ready-to-Scale Company): Attendees must have a product that has already entered the market in some capacity. Attendees should currently be selling products at the wholesale level and should want to increase their wholesale account traction.
Criteria for Acceptance into the Virtual Presentation: Attendees need to have a product-based business; this is not suited for technology and/or app companies.

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION #6

Title: Identifying B2B and B2C Growth Opportunities

Mentor Company: Cureate
Date and Time of Session: Thursday, February 17th from 12:00 Noon to 1:30 PM

Length of Session: 1.5 hrs

Course Description: This presentation discusses strategies for B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) growth via marketing and sales. The presentation focuses on each company’s plans to diversify its revenue streams by using e-commerce, exporting, and overall customer acquisition tactics to support and enhance brand awareness.

Desired Prerequisite Knowledge and Experience of Attendees: There are no prerequisites for this Virtual Presentation.
Criteria for Acceptance into the Virtual Presentation: Attendees need to have a product-based business; this is not suited for technology and/or app companies.

 

CLICK HERE for information on the Mentoring Companies who will present these Virtual Presentations.

MINI-GRANTs

Mini-Grants up to $5,000 are available for:
– Market Research and Validation of Target Market
– Customer Acquisition
– Product Development Initiatives
– Food Safety Classes
Eligibility
Value-added producers and companies with traction ($20,000 or more in yearly revenue) in Maryland and Delaware are eligible to apply for Mini-Grants. Participants may apply once for each of the categories. Applicants must demonstrate that they have a unique and differentiated product or service that incorporates an aspect of innovation or technology in its production, processing, distribution, or other element of the food supply system.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Award decisions will be made and funds will be available no later than three weeks following the receipt of a completed application.
Application Process
Applicants must submit Mini-Grant proposals by filling out the form at this link. Copy(ies) of quote(s), proposal(s), estimate(s), or any other supporting documents.

ACCESS TO SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS (SMES)

CAIC offers access to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who can offer authoritative advice based on their deep knowledge and experience in a specific area. See the ADVISORS page of this Web site to learn more about the SMEs who are available to CAIC participants.